Cullen Presents 2014 Raymond Schinazi Distinguished Lectureship

October 29, 2014

Durham NC —Bryan R. Cullen, PhD, James B. Duke Professor and Director of the Center for Virology in the Duke Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, gave the Raymond Schinazi Distinguished Lectureship at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia on October 15.

This prestigious lectureship is named in honor of Dr. Raymond Schinazi, the Frances Winship Walters Professor of Pediatrics at Emory University, who co-discovered several widely used antiviral drugs, including the anti-HIV-1 drug lamivudine and the anti-HCV drug Sovaldi, that together have saved many thousands of patient lives. Cullen was awarded this honor in recognition of his many important contributions to the field of virology while at Duke, including the discovery of the mechanisms of action of the essential HIV-1 proteins Tat and Rev and his demonstration of the key role played by small non-coding RNAs in regulating herpes virus latency.

Cullen obtained a BSc in Biochemistry from Warwick University in the UK and an MSc in Virology from the University of Birmingham before moving to the USA, where he obtained a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ. In 1987, he was recruited to Duke University Medical Center as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and Assistant Professor.

Cullen’s interests have historically revolved around the use of viruses as genetic tools to understand aspects of the biology of the eukaryotic cell, focusing particularly on RNA-sequence mediated gene regulation. Currently, his laboratory is studying the biogenesis and function of microRNAs, and in particular, virus-encoded microRNAs and also works on human factors that act as innate inhibitors of both retrovirus infection and retrotransposon mobility.