Oliver I Fregoso

Associate Professor, MIMG, University of California Los Angeles


Dr. Oliver Fregoso is an assistant professor in the department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics (MIMG). He was an undergrad at UC Santa Cruz, where he double majored in Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology and Studio Art. He also played on the collegiate soccer team, but found his passion for research in the labs at UCSC. He received his PhD from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (New York) and did his postdoctoral work at Fred Hutch (Seattle, WA). As a grad student he worked in the lab of Dr. Adrian Krainer Lab where he used proteomics to understand roles of alternative splicing activators and repressors in splicing and other cellular processes, including cancer and senescence. For his postdoctoral studies at Fred Hutch, he worked in the lab of Dr. Michael Emerman. He worked to understand the evolution and emergence of the lentiviral accessory gene Vpx, and to understand how it overcomes antiviral restriction by innate immune proteins. While there, also started developing systems to study the interplay between the host DNA damage response and lentiviral replication. His lab studies the molecular mechanisms of viral replication, with a primary focus on HIV and related viruses. They are particularly interested in understanding how viruses usurp host proteins to facilitate replication and to overcome host antiviral mechanisms, and how these interactions influence the evolution of the virus and the host as well as viral cross-species transmission. In addition, the lab is investigating how HIV contributes to diseases not directly attributed to viral replication, such as disorders of the central and peripheral nervous systems. By using a unique combination of molecular biology, biochemistry, stem cell biology, and evolutionary biology, they hope to uncover novel aspects of viral replication that can lead to the development of antivirals and vaccines. In addition to his research, Dr. Fregoso is passionate about enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the sciences. For his past and continued efforts in these areas, he was recruited to UCLA as a Mentor Professor, where he is at the forefront of UCLA’s mission to build inclusive excellence in science.

Education and Training

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterPostdoc2016Viral Replication & Evolution
Cold Spring Harbor LaboratoryPhD2011Molecular Biology
The Mayo ClinicPostbac2004
UC Santa CruzBA2003MCD Bio & Studio Art


  1. Castellón JO, Ofori S, Burton NR, Julio AR, Turmon AC, Armenta E, Sandoval C, Boatner LM, Takayoshi EE, Faragalla M, Taylor C, Zhou AL, Tran K, Shek J, Yan T, Desai HS, Fregoso OI, Damoiseaux R, Backus KM. Chemoproteomics Identifies State-Dependent and Proteoform-Selective Caspase-2 Inhibitors.. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2024.
  2. Sandoval C, Nisson K, Fregoso OI. HIV-1 Vpr-induced DNA damage activates NF-κB through ATM-NEMO independent of cell cycle arrest.. bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology, 2024.
  3. Nichols Doyle R, Yang V, Damoiseaux R, Fregoso OI. NSC95397 is a Novel HIV Latency Reversing Agent.. bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology, 2023.
  4. Cariou M, Picard L, Guéguen L, Jacquet S, Cimarelli A, Fregoso OI, Molaro A, Navratil V, Etienne L. Distinct evolutionary trajectories of SARS-CoV-2-interacting proteins in bats and primates identify important host determinants of COVID-19.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2022.
  5. Johnson JR, Crosby DC, Hultquist JF, Kurland AP, Adhikary P, Li D, Marlett J, Swann J, Hüttenhain R, Verschueren E, Johnson TL, Newton BW, Shales M, Simon VA, Beltrao P, Frankel AD, Marson A, Cox JS, Fregoso OI, Young JAT, Krogan NJ. Global post-translational modification profiling of HIV-1-infected cells reveals mechanisms of host cellular pathway remodeling.. Cell reports, 2022.
  6. Lopez A, Nichols Doyle R, Sandoval C, Nisson K, Yang V, Fregoso OI. Viral Modulation of the DNA Damage Response and Innate Immunity: Two Sides of the Same Coin.. Journal of molecular biology, 2021.
  7. Li D, Lopez A, Sandoval C, Nichols Doyle R, Fregoso OI. HIV Vpr Modulates the Host DNA Damage Response at Two Independent Steps to Damage DNA and Repress Double-Strand DNA Break Repair.. mBio, 2020.
  8. Aznarez I, Nomakuchi TT, Tetenbaum-Novatt J, Rahman MA, Fregoso O, Rees H, Krainer AR. Mechanism of Nonsense-Mediated mRNA Decay Stimulation by Splicing Factor SRSF1.. Cell reports, 2018.
  9. Fregoso OI. Mind Your Cs and Gs.. Cell host & microbe, 2017.
  10. Baldauf HM, Stegmann L, Schwarz SM, Ambiel I, Trotard M, Martin M, Burggraf M, Lenzi GM, Lejk H, Pan X, Fregoso OI, Lim ES, Abraham L, Nguyen LA, Rutsch F, König R, Kim B, Emerman M, Fackler OT, Keppler OT. Vpx overcomes a SAMHD1-independent block to HIV reverse transcription that is specific to resting CD4 T cells.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2017.
  11. Fregoso OI, Emerman M. Activation of the DNA Damage Response Is a Conserved Function of HIV-1 and HIV-2 Vpr That Is Independent of SLX4 Recruitment.. mBio, 2016.
  12. Akerman M, Fregoso OI, Das S, Ruse C, Jensen MA, Pappin DJ, Zhang MQ, Krainer AR. Differential connectivity of splicing activators and repressors to the human spliceosome.. Genome biology, 2015.
  13. Fregoso OI, Ahn J, Wang C, Mehrens J, Skowronski J, Emerman M. Evolutionary toggling of Vpx/Vpr specificity results in divergent recognition of the restriction factor SAMHD1.. PLoS pathogens, 2013.
  14. Das S, Fregoso OI, Krainer AR. A new path to oncogene-induced senescence: at the crossroads of splicing and translation.. Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.), 2013.
  15. Fregoso OI, Das S, Akerman M, Krainer AR. Splicing-factor oncoprotein SRSF1 stabilizes p53 via RPL5 and induces cellular senescence.. Molecular cell, 2013.
  16. Bueno MT, Reyes D, Valdes L, Saheba A, Urias E, Mendoza C, Fregoso OI, Llano M. Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 promotes transcriptional repression of integrated retroviruses.. Journal of virology, 2012.
  17. Lim ES, Fregoso OI, McCoy CO, Matsen FA, Malik HS, Emerman M. The ability of primate lentiviruses to degrade the monocyte restriction factor SAMHD1 preceded the birth of the viral accessory protein Vpx.. Cell host & microbe, 2012.
  18. Sun S, Zhang Z, Fregoso O, Krainer AR. Mechanisms of activation and repression by the alternative splicing factors RBFOX1/2.. RNA (New York, N.Y.), 2011.
  19. Bish RA, Fregoso OI, Piccini A, Myers MP. Conjugation of complex polyubiquitin chains to WRNIP1.. Journal of proteome research, 2008.
  20. Llano M, Vanegas M, Fregoso O, Saenz D, Chung S, Peretz M, Poeschla EM. LEDGF/p75 determines cellular trafficking of diverse lentiviral but not murine oncoretroviral integrase proteins and is a component of functional lentiviral preintegration complexes.. Journal of virology, 2004.