Joel Baines

Joel Baines
Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Contact info:
Office: 607-253-3391
C5 131 Veterinary Medical Center
Email: jdb11@cornell.edu

See also:

Joel D. Baines, PhD

Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Dr. Baines is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and has been associated with the department since 1993. He received a bachelor's degree in Microbiology From Kansas State University in 1979 and received the VMD degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983. He then received his PhD from Cornell University in 1988 studying the molecular virology of feline coronaviruses. He obtained postdoctoral training at the University of Chicago in the laboratory of Dr. Bernard Roizman studying the molecular virology of herpes simplex virus replication. He has been funded by the NIH since January 1, 1995 to study herpes simplex virus assembly.

Research Interests

The major focus of the laboratory is to understand how herpes simplex virus utilizes cellular machinery to optimize its own assembly. The work is divided into two areas. The first area of interest focuses on the process of DNA cleavage and packaging within infected cell nuclei; the process is the target of a novel class of antiviral drugs currently under development. We have discovered that herpesvirus capsids utilize actin to allow capsids to move in a directed fashion in infected cell nuclei. This is done by tracking capsids tagged with green fluorescent protein in living cells by time lapse cofocal microscoopy. These studies should shed light on the roles of actin-dependent motors in the nucleus; such motors have been implicated in intranuclear movement of chromosome remodeling complexes and telomeres, among other structures.

A second area concerns envelopment of nucleocapsids at the inner nuclear membrane. We have identified proteins, essential to envelopment of nucleocapsids, that alter the structure of the nucleus, presumably to allow efficient production of virions by facilitating budding at the inner nuclear membrane. The goal of this research is to determine how the HSV proteins alter the nuclear cytoskeleton and mediate nucleocapsid trafficking through the nuclear lamina which forms a fibrous barrier and acts to fortify the structure of the nucleus. This should shed light not only on envelopment of nucleocapsids, but also the functions of the nuclear lamins.