Joanna  L. Shisler

331 Burrill Hall
Office: (217) 265-6450
Lab: (217) 333-6140

Mail to: Department of Microbiology
B103 CLSL MC-110
601 S Goodwin
Urbana, IL 61801

Joanna L. Shisler

Associate Professor of Microbiology
Associate Director of Water & Health Research, Safe Global Water Institute

Research Topics

Host-Pathogen Interactions, Protein Structure, Regulation of Gene Expression, Signal Transduction, Virology


B.A. (Microbiology), Miami University, 1990
Ph.D. (Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis), Emory University, 1996
Postdoctoral (Virology), Laboratory of Viral Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 1997-2001

Immune evasion strategies of viruses; host-pathogen interactions; molecular disinfection of viruses; vaccine development

Viruses are one of the most abundant microorganisms on the planet, infecting every form of life from humans to bacteria. Mammalian viruses, many of which are zoonotic (i.e., transmitted to humans from other animals), are directly responsible for some of the worst diseases known to man (e.g., Ebola virus, HIV), and for common causes of morbidity and mortality around the world (e.g., norovirus, influenza virus).

Understanding, detecting and controlling viruses continue to be grand challenges in science because so little is known about the fundamental properties of viruses and their interactions with the environment, and because they vary greatly with respect to their genomes and replication cycles.

The goal of my laboratory is to use trans-disciplinary approaches to ask fundamental question about virology: What are the molecular properties of viruses that make them resistant or susceptible to disinfection in natural settings versus hospitals or water treatment plants? How do viruses evade the immune system to cause disease? How can we engineer new methods to detect infectious viruses in clinical and environmental samples? How do viruses inhibit the immune response to their benefit?

Representative Publications

Randall CM, Biswas S, Selen CV, Shisler JL, "Inhibition of interferon gene activation by death-effector domain-containing proteins from the molluscum contagiosum virus," Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jan 14;111(2):E265-72. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1314569111. Epub 2013 Dec 30.

Crystall MH Randall and Joanna L Shisler, "Molluscum contagiosum virus:persistence pays off," Future Virology. 8: 561-573, 2013.

Johanna S Salzer, Darren S Carrol, Innocent B Rwego, Yu Li, Elizatbh A Falendysz, Joanna L Shisler, Kevin L Karem, Inger K Damon, Thomas R Gillespie, "Serological Evidence for circulating Orthopoxviruses in peridomestic rodents in rural Uganda," Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 49:125-131, 2013.

Crystall MH Randall, Janet A Jokela and Joanna L Shisler, "The MC159 protein from the molluscum contagiosum poxvirus inhibits NF-kB activation by interacting with the IKK complex," Journal of Immunology. 188: 2371-2379, 2012.

Stefani M. Martin, Daniel T. Harris and Joanna L. Shisler, “The C11R gene, which encodes the vaccinia growth factor (VGF), is partially responsible for MVA-induced NF-kB and ERK2 activation,” Journal of Virology, 86:9629-9639, 2012.

Kristen L. Willis, Jeffrey O. Langland and Joanna L. Shisler, “Viral dsRNA from vaccinia virus early or intermediate gene transcripts possess PKR activating function, resulting in NF-kappaB activation, when the K1 protein is absent or mutated” Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2011 286:7765-7778.

Willis KL, Patel S, Xiang Y, Shisler JL. The effect of the vaccinia K1 protein on the PKR-eIF2a pathway in RK13 and HeLa cells. Virology 2009; 394:73-81. [Abstract]

Martin S and JL Shisler. Identification of the viral mechanism responsible for NF-kB activation in modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA)-infected fibroblasts. Virology 2009; 390:298-306. [Abstract]

Page MA, Shisler JL, Marinas BJ. Kinetics of adenovirus type 2 inactivation with free chlorine. Water Research 2009; 43: 2916-2926. [Abstract]

Nichols DB and JL Shisler. The poxvirus MC160 protein utilizes multiple mechanisms to inhibit NF-kB activation mediated via components of the tumor necrosis factor receptor-1 signal transduction pathway. Journal of Virology 2009; 83:3162-3174. [Abstract]

Sirikanchana K, Shisler JL, Marinas BJ. Effect of UV-C and monochloramine on early protein expression and DNA replication of adenovirus serotype 2. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 2008; 74:3774-82. Hinthong, O., Jin, X-L. and Shisler, J.L. 2008. Characterization of wild-type and mutant vaccinia virus M2L proteins abilites to localize to the endoplasmic reticulum and to inhibit NF-kappa B activation during infection. Virology, 373: 248-262, 2008. [Abstract]

Gedey, R., Jin, X.-L., Hinthong, O., and Shisler, J.L. 2006. Poxviral regulation of the host NF-kappa B response: The vaccinia M2L protein inhibits the induction of NF-kappa B activation via an ERK2 pathway in virus-infected human embryonic kidney cells. Journal of Virology, 80 (17): 8676-85. [Abstract]

Nichols, D.B. and Shisler, J.L. 2006. The MC160 protein from a dermatotropic poxvirus prevents TNF-alpha-induced NF-kB activation and inactivates the IKK complex. Journal of Virology, 80(2):578-86. [Abstract]

Murao, L. and Shisler, J.L. 2005. The MCV MC159 protein inhibits late, but not early, events of TNF-alpha-mediated-induced NF-kB activation. Virology, 340(2):255-64. [Abstract]

Shisler, J.L. and Jin, X.-L. 2004. The vaccinia virus K1L gene product inhibits host NF-kappa B activation by preventing I kappa B alpha degradation. Journal of Virology, 78(7): 3553-60. [Abstract]

Chan, F., Shisler, J.L., Bixby, J.G., Felices, M., Zheng, L., Appel, M., Orenstein, J., Moss, B., and Lenardo, M.J. 2003. A role for tumor necrosis factor receptor-2 and receptor-interacting protein in programmed necrosis and antiviral responses. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 278(51): 51613-21. [Abstract]

Shisler, J.L. and Moss, B. 2001. The MCV MC159 product blocks Fas-induced apoptosis during a poxvirus infection by prevention of pro-caspase and MC160 activation. Virology, 282:14-25. [Abstract]

Moss, B., Shisler, J.L., Xang, Y., and Senkevich, T. 2000. Immune-defense molecules of molluscum contagiosum virus: a human poxvirus. Trends in Microbiology, 8(10):473-7. [Abstract] Shisler, J.L., Isaacs, S., and Moss, B. 1999. Vaccinia virus serpin-1 deletion mutant exhibits a host range defect characterized by low levels of intermediate and late mRNAs. Virology, 262(2): 298-311. [Abstract]

Shisler, J.L., Senkevich, T., Berry, M.J., and Moss, B. 1998. UV-induced cell death blocked by a Selenoprotein from a Human Dermatotropic Poxvirus. Science, 279(5347):102-5. [Abstract]

Complete Publications List