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College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Biological Sciences
Liver disease; Hepatitis C; RNA therapies; virus-host interactions; translational control, replication and assembly of RNA viruses
Campus phone: 591-8841
Campus email: firstname.lastname@example.org
UAlbany Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Cara Pager is an expert on virus-host interactions, RNA-mediated gene regulation, as well as translational control, replication and assembly of RNA viruses.
Pager is currently examining the biological mechanisms of Hepatitis C (HCV), the foremost cause of liver disease in the U.S.
Supported by a three-year, $225,000 Liver Scholars Award from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, Pager is investigating the process in which HCV exploits liver cells and manipulates a host protein called RCK to build new viruses.
HCV is a widespread risk factor for developing liver cancer, the most common cause of cancer-related deaths. No viable vaccine exists for the world’s 200 million HCV-infected individuals, and they are left with largely inadequate treatments.
Research shows that HCV prompts the RCK protein to first help the virus bind tiny liver-specific RNA molecules and, second, to build new virus particles.
Pager hopes her research will lead to new breakthrough drug therapies that will block RCK from building new virus particles. Pager conducts her research at The RNA Institute amid 60 other RNA-dedicated scientists.