Principal Investigator

Carolina Arias

Principal Investigator

Project Scientists

Dr. Braig-Karzig is the Lab Manager for both Dr. Arias and Dr. Acosta-Alvear's labs

Graduate Students

Kevin is investigating the virus-host interactions of Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus via genetic engineering with CRISPRi technology.

Catya is a MA student investigating the single cell transcriptome of KSHV infected cells and the effect of modulating translation on lytic reactivation. 

Guilermo is a Ph.D. student who is exploring the dynamics of the UPR in cells infected with KSHV and is specifically interested in identifying viral factors affecting this cellular response

Duncan is a Ph.D. student interested in the effects of Zika virus on eye development and health, primarily pertaining to the activation and inhibition of cellular stress responses by Zika

Undergraduate Students

Tessa is looking to determine a FACS-based system to isolate and purify Muller glial cells from retinal organoid tissues for further study.

Roy is studying the function of KSHV's novel viral small open reading frame PAN 1.1

Michelle will it optimizing a Cas9 based system for virus mutagenesis in order to investigate the function of novel KSHV smORFs. 

Adriana is exploring how KSHV modulates the UPR in a host cell and specifically, what role ATF6 and its targets play in KSHV infection.


Oran was a M.S. student investigating the piracy and manipulation of the ZIKA virus in relation to translation initiation, particularly with regard to differential expression of the components of eIF4F

Shannon explored KSHV's viral control of translation.

Ezra worked on characterizing the biochemical significance of the 3' UTR in the Zika Virus genome. 

As an undergraduate lab technician, Justin helped keep the Arias Lab's supplies and resources prepped to facilitate research. He now works in technical services at Epic. 

Mary optimized methods for studying viral gene functions, particularly with regard to KSHV, in latently infected mammalian cells through use of CRISPRi. She is now a clinical research coordinator at California Retina Consultants. 

Colleen worked on optimizing a CRISPR-Cas9 based method for the mutagenesis of KSHV's viral genome and is also investigating the effects of Zika virus exposure on the eye during development. She will be applying to medical school. 

Ameera is an Arias Lab alumna who previously worked on developing a CRISPRi system for silencing KSHV genes in different host cell lines. She is now a researcher at NIH in the Medical Genetics and Ophthalmic Genomics Unit

Veronica worked on delineating host transcriptional changes following KSHV infection of primary endothelial cells through computational analysis of RNA-Seq data. She is now a PhD student at Duke university


GIl explored the structure of KSHV chromatin during the lytic cycle and how Zika Virus interacts with the UPR. Gil is now a PhD student at UCLA