Kistler Group: Viral Replication and Transcription

Our Research

A potential Achilles heel for RNA viruses is their unique RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RDRPs).

Amy Kistler and her group are building tools to systematically analyze new and novel viruses, including replicon-based assays aimed at identifying host factors; small-molecule inhibitors as antiviral therapeutics; and metagenomic approaches to identify emerging viruses in animal vectors.

The Kistler Group combines viral genomics and synthetic biology to detect and analyze known and emerging viral pathogens and has built metagenomic workflows to investigate the microbial cargo of vectors of emerging infectious diseases.

Our immediate research involves applying the tools we develop for biochemical isolation and characterization of viral replication/transcription complexes and the development of viral replicons to interrogate the host factors required for viral replication via small-molecule and CRISPR screening.

Amy Kistler, Group Leader

Kistler received her Ph.D. in Christine Guthrie’s lab at UC San Francisco, where she focused on pre-mRNA splicing in yeast. She then pursued an M.P.H. in epidemiology at UC Berkeley, to explore her broader interests in infectious disease and global health. As an Investigator in Virology at Novartis, Kistler led a viral pathogen discovery group and an Ebolavirus antiviral drug development effort. At CZ Biohub, she is developing reagents and pipelines to enable rapid comparative analyses across viral families and orders to elucidate their basic biology, replication mechanisms, and potential drug targets. In parallel, Kistler will participate in pathogen detection and rapid response efforts.