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  • Ritesh Tandon, PhD


    Assistant Professor
    Phone: (601) 984-1705 (office)
                (601) 815-5594 (lab)
    Fax: (601) 984-1708
    E-mail: rtandon@umc.edu

    Education and Training:  

    Ph.D., 2005, University of Georgia
    (Advisor: Ray M. Kaplan)

    Postdoctoral, 2006, Johns Hopkins University 
    (Advisor: Prashant J. Desai)

    Postdoctoral, 2012, Emory University 
    (Advisor: Edward S. Mocarski).

     View PubMed links

    Primary research interests

    The research in Tandon laboratory currently focuses on three different aspects of human cytomegalovirus (CMV) maturation:

    • Role of tegument proteins in maintaining capsid stability during virus maturation. (Collaborators: Wade Gibson, Johns Hopkins University; Jeff Henegar, University of Mississippi)
    • Mechanisms of virus trafficking in the cell and the role of host factors in virus maturation. (Collaborator: Maureen Wirschell, University of Mississippi)
    • Structural changes in virus capsids during maturation. (Collaborator: James Conway, University of Pittsburgh)

     Research goals:

    At present, there are no vaccines or effective drugs to treat or contain CMV infection. The development of potential antivirals requires detailed knowledge of the molecular events involved in virus replication. A good antiviral target is the virus assembly and maturation process, a complex series of events that results in the production of infectious virus particles within infected host cells. We have reported critical viral and host factors that are important for HCMV maturation. Current research is aimed towards providing a detailed understanding of CMV maturation events that will impact the development of novel therapeutics to counter CMV infection with a possible conserved theme across all herpesviruses.

     Public health importance:

    • CMV is the most common cause of congenital infection (1 in 150 children) in the USA. In pregnant women, CMV infection may result in premature birth, infant death or more commonly the birth defects or developmental abnormalities that may appear at birth or later in life.
    • CMV is the most important infectious cause of allograft rejection in heart transplant recipients and is implicated in several other cardiovascular conditions such as atherosclerosis and hypertension.
    • CMV retinitis is common and often sight threatening in AIDS patients.
    • Reactivation of latent CMV is associated with graft rejection in organ/stem cell transplant recipients.
    • CMV infection is associated with a type of infectious mononucleosis.
    • Although not oncogenic, CMV is believed to be an oncomodulatory virus. A link between CMV infection and certain malignant brain tumors (glioblastoma, medulloblastoma and neuroblastoma) as well as breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer and ovarian cancer has been proposed.


    Recent Publications

      • Tandon R*., Mocarski E.S. Viral and host control of cytomegalovirus maturation. 2012. Trends in Microbiology, 20(8), p. 392-401. [*Corresponding Author]
      • Tandon R*., Mocarski E.S. Cytomegalovirus pUL96 is critical for the stability of pp150-associated nucleocapsids. 2011. Journal of Virology, 85(14), p. 7129-41. [*Corresponding Author; Journal of Virology Cover Image, September, 2011, 85(18)]
      • Tandon R*., Aucoin D.P., Mocarski E.S., Human cytomegalovirus exploits ESCRT machinery in the process of virion maturation. 2009. Journal of Virology, 83(20), p. 10797-807. [*Corresponding Author]
      • Tandon R., Mocarski E.S., Cytomegalovirus tegument protein pp150 control of cytoplasmic maturation events. 2008. Journal of Virology. 82(19), p. 9433-44.
      • Tandon R., LePage K. and Kaplan R.M. Cloning and characterization of genes encoding alpha and beta subunits of glutamate gated chloride channel (GluCl) protein in Cylicocyclus nassatus. 2006. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology. 150(1): p. 46-55.
      • Tandon R., Lyons E.T., Tolliver S.C. and Kaplan R.M. Effect of moxidectin selection on the genetic variation within Cylicocyclus nassatusbased on amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP). 2005. International Journal for Parasitology. 35, p. 813-819.
      •  Tandon R. and Kaplan R.M. Evaluation of an in vitro larval development assay (DrenchRite®) for the detection of anthelmintic resistance in cyathostomins of horses. 2004. Veterinary Parasitology. 121(1-2) p. 125-142.