Melanie Ott

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Dr. Melanie Ott studies how viruses interact with host cells. By understanding these interactions, she hopes to gain insight into cellular processes and the viral lifecycle. She focuses on two pathogens—the human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C virus—and three cellular processes—lipid droplets (LDs), transcriptional elongation, and chronic immune activation. Her research is relevant for efforts to eradicate HIV from patients, to alleviate fatty liver disease in chronic HCV infection, and suppress autoimmunity in patients with type 1 diabetes. Her research examines the link between HCV and intracellular LDs: the virus uses LDs to form progeny virions, and those are relevant for the onset of fatty liver disease (steatosis) in infected individuals. She earned an MD from the University of Frankfurt and a PhD from the Picower Graduate School of Molecular Medicine. She started her laboratory at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg and then moved to the

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