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  • Alexa Wilson, Hons. BSc Microbiology and Immunology


Dr. Craig McCormick

Program of Study:

MSc, Microbiology and Immunology

Project Title:

The PERKs of UPR subversion: Exploring KSHV host-shutoff during lytic replication

Scholarships and/or Awards:

  • Cancer Research Training Program (CRTP) Traineeship Award 2020
  • Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation (DMRF) Genomics in Medicine Graduate Studentship 2020

Career Aspirations:

I am interested in revealing the pro-viral mechanisms elicited by early Kaposi’s sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV) gene products that subvert the hosts unfolded protein response (UPR). KSHV is a well-known oncogenic virus that causes tumorous lesions in an infected, compromised host. For a long time, the KSHV latent lifecycle was the focus of studies regarding how this virus establishes life-long infection in its host, which may give rise to cancer. We now know that the lytic lifecycle is just as important in KSHV tumorigenesis, and I want to address this large research gap, starting with how the virus interacts with our UPR.

Upon graduation from my MSc, I desire to continue to conduct cancer research and make a meaningful contribution to my field. In the McCormick lab I find myself in an immersive and productive research environment and I aim to seek out like places where I can learn and develop my passion for science. Perhaps this journey will lead me to pursue a PhD in Microbiology or working in a research lab.


Dalhousie University


Capo, F., Wilson, A., Di Cara, F. 2019. The intestine of Drosophila melanogaster: a versatile model system to study intestinal epithelial homeostasis and host-microbial interactions in human. Microorganisms. 7, 336; doi:10.3390/microorganisms7090336

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