Michael J Imperiale

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University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Microbiology and Immunology
Short bio: 

Dr. Michael Imperiale is the Arthur F. Thurnau Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Associate Chair of Microbiology and Immunology. Since 2017, he has been Associate Vice President for Research - Policy and Compliance at UM. In 2010 Dr. Imperiale was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and in 2011 he was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Imperiale is a member of the NASEM Committee on Science, Technology, and Law. He also serves as an editor of mBio and is Editor-in-Chief of mSphere.

Research summary: 

Our laboratory studies the molecular biology of the small DNA tumor virus, BK polyomavirus. BKPyV is a ubiquitous human pathogen that establishes a subclinical, persistent infection of the urinary tract during early childhood. In healthy individuals, the virus is excreted periodically into the urine but does not cause disease, but in renal and bone marrow transplant patients the virus can cause severe and sometimes life threatening illnesses. We are interested in the interplay between viral and host factors that determine whether the virus will persist or replicate in the cell. On the host cell side, our current efforts are focused on nuclear factors with which the virus interacts during infection, particularly the DNA damage response, which the cell normally uses to detect and repair damaged DNA, and which may cause pathogenic rearrangements in the viral genome. We are also actively investigating how the virus traffics from the plasma membrane to its site of replication, the nucleus. On the virus side, we are uncovering the genetic determinants on the viral chromosome that regulate the switch between persistence and active replication, focussing on a virally-encoded miRNA that controls expression of a critical viral protein that is required for replication. Since there are no effective antiviral drugs with which to treat transplant patients, we are hopeful that in addition to learning interesting and important biology, these studies may lead to the identification of new therapeutic targets.

Recent publications: 

Zhao, L. and Imperiale, M.J. (2017). Identification of Rab18 as an essential host factor for BKPyV infection using a whole genome RNA interference screen. mSphere https://doi.org/10.1128/mSphereDirect.00291-17.

Zhao, L., Marciano, A.T., Rivet, C.R., and Imperiale, M.J. (2016). Caveolin- and clathrin-independent entry of BKPyV into primary human proximal tubule epithelial cells. Virology 492:66-72.

Justice, J.L., Verhalen, B., Kumar, R., Lefkowitz, E.J., Imperiale, M.J., and Jiang, M. (2015). Quantitative proteomic analysis of enriched nuclear fractions from BK polyomavirus-infected primary renal proximal tubule epithelial cells. J. Proteome Res., 14:4413-4424.

Verhaegen, M.E., Mangelberger, D., Harms, P.W., Vozheiko, T.D., Weick, J.W., Wilbert, D.M., Saunders, T.L., Ermilov, A.N., Bichakjian, C.K., Johnson, T.M., Imperiale, M.J., and Dlugosz, A.A. (2015). Merkel cell polyomavirus small T antigen is oncogenic in transgenic mice. J. Inv. Dermatol. 135, 1415-1424.

Verhalen B., Justice, J.L., Imperiale, M.J., and Jiang, M. (2015). Viral DNA replication-dependent DNA damage response activation during BK polyomavirus infection. J. Virol. 89:5032-5039

Bennett, S.M., Jiang, M., and Imperiale, M.J. (2013). Role of cell type-specific ER-associated degradation in polyomavirus trafficking. J. Virol. 87:8843-8852.

Broekema, N.M. and Imperiale, M.J. (2013). miRNA regulation of BK polyomavirus replication during early infection. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 110:8200-8205.

Jiang, M., Zhao, L., Gamez, M., and Imperiale, M.J. (2012). Roles of ATM and ATR-mediated DNA damage responses during lytic BK polyomavirus infection. PLoS Pathog. 8(8): e1002898. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002898.

Imperiale, M.J. (2012). Dual-use research after the avian influenza controversy. B. Atom. Sci. http://thebulletin.org/web-edition/op-eds/dual-use-research-after-the-av....

Bennett, S.M., Broekema, N.B., and Imperiale, M.J. (2012). BK polyomavirus: emerging pathogen. Microbes Infect. 14:672-683.

Jiang, M. and Imperiale, M.J. (2012). Design stars: how small DNA viruses remodel the host nucleus. Future Virol. 7:445-459.

Broekema, N.M. and Imperiale, M.J. (2012). Efficient propagation of archetype BK and JC polyomaviruses. Virology 422:235-241.

gene regulation,
intracellular trafficking,