Professor Pizzorno-Simpson also teaches in the Cell Biology and Biochemistry Program.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • B.A., Whittier College

Recent Activities

I joined the department in 1996 after completing a visiting professorship in the Biology Department at Vassar College. I received postdoctoral training at Princeton University and have been actively studying the molecular biology of herpesviruses since 1985. At Bucknell, I teach BIOL205 - Introduction to Molecules and Cells, Virology BIOL 347, Molecular Biology BIOL 327, and a section of Biochemical Methods BIOL 340.

Research Interests

The main focus of my research has been on the molecular and cellular biology of eukaryotic viruses, specifically herpes viruses. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a herpes virus which is very species and cell-type specific, preferring to grow in differentiated cells. Work that I started as a post-doctoral fellow suggested that one of the blocks to infection by CMV in many cell types may be during entry and uncoating of the virus particle in the host cell. Students in my lab are involved in using several experimental approaches to study this problem. These include localizing viral structural proteins and DNA during early events of infection using immunofluorescence and in-situ hybridization, studying protein-protein interactions between viral and cellular proteins by expressing cloned genes in bacteria, and identifying biochemical differences between permissive and non-permissive cells using protein purification. In addition, students learn how to manipulate cells and virus in tissue culture and basic recombinant DNA and protein biochemistry techniques. Studying events that occur early during infection in several cell types will elucidate both the virus-cell interactions that control permissivity in CMV and the molecular details of virus entry.

Selected Publications

Pizzorno, M.C., Rice, T.B., Sutton, S. Proteolytic Degradation of the Tegument Protein pp150 Occurs During Penetration of Cells by Human Cytomegalovirus. (in preparation)

Ling, E.D., Shutsky, L.. Hart, L., and Pizzorno, M.C. Localization of the Human Cytomegalovirus Tegument Protein pp150 When Fused to Green Fluorescent Protein. Arch. Virol. (submitted July 2001)

Shubert, M.A., Pizzorno, M.C., and Nyquist S.E. (2001). Caveolin and Flotillin Content of Rat Testis Peritubular Myoid Cells and Detergent-Insoluble Glycosphingolipid-Enriched Membrane Fractions (DIGS) From These Cells, p 195-201. In B. Robaire, H. Chemes, and C.R. Morales (eds.), Andrology in the 21st Century, Proceedings of the VIIth International Congress of Andrology.

Pizzorno, M.C. (2001). Nuclear Cathepsin B-Like Protease Cleaves Transcription Factor YY1 in Differentiated Cells. Biochim. et Biophys. Acta 1536:31-42.

Y.-N Chang, K.-T. Jeang, C.-J. Chiou, Y.-J. Chan, M.C. Pizzorno and G. S. Hayward. 1993. Identification of a Large Bent DNA Domain and Binding Sites for Serum Response Factor Adjacent to the NFI-Repeat Cluster and Enhancer Region in the Major IE94 Promoter from Simian Cytomegalovirus. J. Virol. 67:516-529.

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