Samson A. Chow

Samson A Chow

Professor, Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, University of California Los Angeles

(310) 825-9600

Laboratory Address:
23-133 CHS
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Office Address:
23-133B CHS
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Research Interests

Retroviruses are RNA viruses that replicate through a DNA intermediate. In humans, infection by retroviruses can lead to AIDS, lymphoma, and leukemia. My laboratory studies the molecular mechanism of integration of a viral genome into its host cell’s DNA, a process essential for replication of HIV and other retroviruses. Retroviral integration is mediated by the viral protein integrase. We are currently focusing on understanding the biochemistry of integration, identifying integrase domains responsible for target site selection, imaging HIV infection and nuclear import of viral complexes, determining the functional interaction between integrase and reverse transcriptase during HIV replication, and developing novel retroviral vectors for delivering exogenous DNA into specific target sites. We are also studying a newly discovered human retrovirus, XMRV, and its role in tumorigenesis and other human diseases. Knowledge gained will be used for developing therapeutics for retroviral diseases and improving genetic engineering and therapy in mammalian cells.