Kathleen Boris-Lawrie, MS, PhD

Kathleen Boris-Lawrie

Contact Info


Office Phone 612-625-2700

Lab Phone 612-625-2100

Office Address:
301E Veterinary Science Building
1971 Commonwealth Ave.
St. Paul, MN, 55108

Lab Address:
225 Veterinary Science Building
1971 Commonwealth Ave.
St. Paul, MN, 55108

NIH Predoctoral Fellow in Molecular Virology, George Washington School of Medicine

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine

PhD, Molecular Genetics, George Washington School of Medicine

MS, Microbiology, Southern Illinois University

BA, Microbiology, Southern Illinois University



Retroviruses that cause cancer and AIDS, RNA biology, Host-pathogen interface in health and disease

Awards & Recognition

  • NIH Recombinant DNA advisory committee (present)
  • Elected fellow of the American Association for Microbiology in 2011


Research Summary/Interests

Patentable retroviral vector strategies and chimeric structural gene vectors were developed to vaccinate animals against bovine leukemia virus infection. This led our discovery of conserved noncoding RNA elements in several retroviruses, including HIV­1, human T cell leukemia virus and others whose natural hosts are non-human species. By studying HIV infected cells, we’ve uncovered an unusual translation control mechanism operative during physiological downregulation of eIF4E, a hallmark of virus infections and other physiologic stress. Instead of requiring eIF4E to initiate ribosome recruitment, a unique cap-binding protein and DHX9 recognized cognate features of the HIV RNA to direct formation of viral polysomes. Our team showed that DHX 9/RNA helicase A is necessary for a unique translation control of select viral and cellular mRNAs, including the junD protooncogene. We are now defining regulation by NCBPs/DHX9 using systems biology and computational approaches, with emphasis on unique connections to the antiviral response and cellular growth control. We expect to characterize new biomarkers of neoplastic transformation in human and animal cells.