We study the replication and innate immune responses to Enveloped RNA viruses – a remarkably diverse family of viruses, some of which are the most ubiquitous disease-causing viruses of humans and animals. This work includes the development of vectors for therapy or vaccination that are based on novel properties of the viral genomes and proteins. In addition, we have expanded our focus to include viral immunology projects (interferon and complement).

Our lab projects can be divided into two general areas:

  • Interactions of RNA viruses with interferon and complement immune pathways. We address the questions of how these viruses first activate and then suppress important innate immune pathways in order to successfully replicate. This involves studies to understand the viral factors that induce interferon and complement responses, as well as the cellular sensors and pathways that respond, suppress replication, and neutralize virus.


  • Developing of novel viral vectors for tumor therapy. We are taking advantage of inherent properties of the viruses we study to design novel vectors for controlled killing of tumor cells. This includes modifying the viral glycoproteins to produce vectors with enhanced ability to spread through a population of tumor cells. In addition, viral mutants which are defective in suppression of innate immunity are being tested for their ability to spread in tumor cells while retaining restricted growth in normal cells.

Recent Publications

  1. Fox CR and Parks GD. 2018. Parainfluenza Virus Infection Sensitizes Cancer Cells to DNA Damaging Agents: Implications for Oncolytic Virus Therapy J. Virol. 92: e01948-17.
  2. Li, Y, and Parks GD. 2018. Relative contribution of cellular complement inhibitors CD59, CD46 and CD55 to Parainfluenza virus 5 inhibition of complement-mediated neutralization. Viruses 10:219
  3. Mazar J, Li Y, Rosado A, Phelan P, Kedarinath K, Parks GD, Alexander KA, and Westmoreland, TJ. 2018. Zika virus kills human neuroblastoma cells and requires CD24. PlosOne, 13(7):e0200358
  4. Fox CR and Parks GD. 2019. Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors Enhance Cell Killing and Block Interferon-Beta Elicited by Infection with an Oncolytic Parainfluenza Virus” Viruses 11 (5) e431.
  1. Cruz, A. and Parks GD. 2020. La Crosse virus infection of human keratinocytes leads to interferon-dependent apoptosis of bystander non-infected cells in vitro. Viruses 12:253.
  2. Cruz, A. and Parks GD. 2020. Enhancement of Infectivity of Insect Cell-Derived La Crosse Virus by Human Serum. Virus Research, in press


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