Jeffrey John DeStefano
Professor, Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics
University of Maryland, USA
Dr. John DeStefano is a professor at Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, University of Maryland, USA. He completed his doctoral degree from University of Connecticut from 1985-1990. He fulfilled his responsiblities as Associate professor and Director of graduate students at the University of Maryland in the year 2010. He is awarded with several grants for his project works like NIH, and Univ. of Maryland College Park Seed Grant. He has published many articles.
Research in Dr. DeStefano′s laboratory focuses on the role of HIV reverse transcriptase (RT) and nucleocapsid protein (NC) in retroviral recombination and replication. They also analyze basic properties of these proteins including how they interact with nucleic acid sequences involved in replication and how their activities, as defined in the test tube, function in cellular replication. Other projects are aimed at isolating nucleic acid inhibitors (aptamers) that can bind very tightly to RT and inhibit its function. They also study poliovirus replication, specifically by examining the polymerase (3Dpol) and 3AB proteins. Their lab demonstrated that 3AB, like HIV NC, has nucleic acid chaperone activity. Chaperones are typically weak helix destabilizing proteins that promote hybridization of complementary nucleic acids and can help nucleic acids fold to their thermodynamically most stable state. There exact role in viral replication is unclear and deciphering this role is an important goal of their lab.