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Kenneth Fife, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Medicine
Professor of Microbiology & Immunology
Professor of Pathology

Description and summary of research focus of the laboratory  

A major focus of ongoing projects in Dr. Fife's laboratory is on interactions between human papillomaviruses (HPVs) and the cells they infect. Because there is no in vitro culture system for HPV, these studies must be done either on samples collected from infected humans or by using sub-genomic segments of HPV DNA cloned into various plasmids and introduced into cultured cells. Interactions between HPV and the immune system are being investigated as a possible mechanism for increases in HPV gene expression associated with pregnancy and that seen in transplant recipients. They have recently cloned and characterized a novel HPV type that appears to be uniquely associated with immunosuppressed persons. Studies aimed at determining differences between the proteins of this virus and other HPVs are underway. Their studies are aimed at defining viral proteins that interact with endogenous proteins in infected cells. One abundant HPV protein (with unknown function) has been shown to interact with specific cytoskeletal proteins and current experiments are aimed at defining this interaction and its consequences on cell growth. Another focus of the laboratory is directed at defining virus-host interactions for the cutaneous human poxvirus, molluscum contagiosum virus. This virus encodes a chemokine analog, two class I MHC analogs, and several other proteins that presumably allow the virus to evade the host immune system. They are currently cloning, expressing and characterizing several of these proteins.

  • Fife, K.H., M. Whitfeld, H. Faust, M.P. Goheen, J. Bryan, and D.R. Brown. 1996. Growth of Molluscum contagiosum virus in a human foreskin xenograft model. Virology 226:95-101.
  • Krathwohl, M.D., R. Hromas, D.R. Brown, H.E. Broxmeyer, and K.H. Fife. 1997. Functional characterization of the C-C chemokine-like molecules encoded by molluscum contagiosum virus types 1 and 2. Proc Natl Acad Sci (USA) 94:9875-9880.
  • Bryan, J.T., K.U. Jansen, R.S. Lowe, K.H. Fife, T. McClowrey, D. Glass, and D.R. Brown. 1997. Human papillomavirus type 11 neutralization in the athymic mouse xenograft system: correlation with virus-like particle IgG concentration. J Med Virol 53:185-188.
  • Bryan, J.T., K.H. Fife, and D.R. Brown. 1998. The intracellular expression pattern of human papillomavirus type 11 E1^E4 protein correlates with its ability to self associate. Virology 241:49-60.
  • Bryan, J.T., M.H. Stoler, S.K. Tyring, T. McClowrey, K.H. Fife, and D.R. Brown. 1998. High-grade dysplasia in genital warts from two patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus. J Med Virol 54:69-73.

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  • A.B., 1972: Johns Hopkins University
  • M.D., 1975: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Ph.D., 1977: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Residency, 1977-1979: Internal Medicine, Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Fellowship, 1979-1981: Infectious Diseases, University of Washington 

Department of Microbiology and Immunology | IU School of Medicine | 635 Barnhill Drive, MS 420 | Indianapolis, IN 46202 | (317) 274-0506