Jill Dembowski, PhD

Research Assistant Professor

Dr. Jill Dembowski


Fax: 412-624-1401

547 Brideside Point II

450 Technology Drive

Pittsburgh, PA 15219


PhD in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Pittsburgh, 2009

BS in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Clarion University of Pennsylvania, 2004

Research Summary

Herpesviruses have co-evolved with their hosts over hundreds of millions of years and have adapted sophisticated mechanisms to utilize host factors for processes that occur on viral DNA. To study the involvement of host factors in herpesviral infection, we developed approaches to purify HSV-1 DNA from infected cells throughout the infectious cycle. We identified cellular proteins that dynamically associate with viral DNA during productive infection and discovered select host transcription and repair proteins that bind to viral replication forks. These studies have allowed for the comprehensive assessment of processes that occur on viral DNA, providing insight into the involvement of host factors in the transcription of viral genes, processing and trafficking of viral transcripts, and repair of damaged viral DNA. I am currently investigating the functions of host factors in viral transcription-coupled processes. These studies will define mechanisms of herpesviral transcription regulation and will provide unique insight into the involvement of host factors in productive infection.

Click here for a full listing of publications

Research Lab Affiliation

Areas of Interest

Herpes Virology


Dembowski JA and DeLuca NA. 2017. Purification of Viral DNA for the Identification of Associated Viral and Cellular Proteins. J Vis Exp. 126: e56374. |  View Abstract

Fox HL, Dembowski JA and DeLuca NA. 2017. A Herpesviral Immediate Early Protein Promotes Transcription Elongation of Viral Transcripts. MBio. 8: e00745-17. |  View Abstract

Dembowski JA, Dremel SE and DeLuca NA. 2017. Replication-Coupled Recruitment of Viral and Cellular Factors to Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Replication Forks for the Maintenance and Expression of Viral Genomes. PLoS Pathogen. 13: e1006166. |  View Abstract

Dembowski J.A. and DeLuca N.A. (2015) Selective recruitment of nuclear factors to productively replicating herpes simplex virus genomes. PLoS Pathog. 11: e1004939. |  View Abstract