Moriah Szpara

Associate Professor of Biology, and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
(Principal Investigator)

The Szpara lab studies how genetic variation influences the outcomes of long-term chronic viral infections on the nervous system. We focus on alpha-herpesviruses such as herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and HSV-2, as well as related veterinary and agricultural pathogens. Approaches in the lab include high-throughput sequencing, comparative genomics, neuronal cultures, and genetic manipulation of both host and pathogen. Our research illuminates new aspects of virus evolution, host-pathogen interactions, and novel avenues for therapeutic intervention. See the tabs and links above, for more information about the Szpara Lab.

Before joining Penn State in 2013, I was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Lynn W. Enquist at Princeton University. There I learned to work with viruses, including the agricultural herpesvirus pseudorabies virus and human herpes simplex virus. My PhD work was in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California Berkeley. My graduate work focused on developmental neurobiology and particularly on axon guidance, with a good dose of early microarray technology. I had the privilege of working with Tito Serafini, Corey Goodman and John Ngai. Prior to grad school, I attended Penn State on a Braddock Scholarship in Science.  I graduated with a B.S. from the Schreyer Honors College in 1998, with honors theses in Biology and Anthropology.

Moriah L. Szpara
W-208 Millennium Science Complex
University Park, PA 16802

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