John N. Misasi, MD
|Hospital Title||Assistant in Medicine|
|Academic Title||Instructor in Pediatrics|
300 Longwood Avenue
Dr. Misasi's research is focused on the entry mechanisms of the hemorrhagic fever viruses belonging to the Filoviridae and Arenaviridae families. Ebola and Lassa are two members of these virus families and cause hemorrhagic fever in Africa. Ebola causes sporadic outbreaks of severe infection in central Africa; Lassa occurs in West Africa, infecting >100,000 people and killing up to 5000 people annually.
Ebola and Lassa are both enveloped negative strand RNA viruses. Each virus expresses a protein, GP, on the surface of its envelope. This protein, GP, is required for the virus to enter and infect the cell. The interactions between GP and host cells that allow these viruses to enter a cell are the focus of Dr. Misasi's research. Previous research has demonstrated that the digestion of Ebola GP by the proteases Cathepsin B and Cathepsin L is required for Ebola entry. Additionally, this research suggests that there are subsequent proteolytic cleavage events required for Ebola virus entry. Dr. Misasi's research attempts to identify and characterize the unknown protease and its action on GP. Finally, the pathogenesis of many viruses is related to their envelope proteins. Dr. Misasi's long term goal is to investigate whether the interaction between host factors and viral envelope proteins contribute to the hemorrhagic fever syndrome.
About John Misasi
John Misasi received his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University. He later attended SUNY-Upstate Medical University for Medical School. He completed his internship and residency in Pediatrics at New York University. After completing his residency training, he trained at Children's Hospital Boston in Infectious Diseases. He is currently doing his research in the laboratory of Dr. James Cunningham of the Department of Virology at Harvard Medical School and Brigham & Women's Hospital.