Department of Animal and Food Sciences
University of Delaware
040 Townsend Hall
Newark, DE 19717-1303
Ph.D., Molecular Biology, Johns Hopkins University, 1986
B.A., Biology and Chemistry, University of Delaware, 1979
Dr. Schmidt’s research interests are centered on several aspects of herpes viruses, which are responsible for both substantial human suffering and economic loss. Most members of this class of virus can cause either a lytic or latent infection in host cells. A lytic infection results in death of the host cell, while in a latent infection, the herpes virus genome is maintained within the cell in an intact form. Latently infected cells can be stimulated to reactivate the virus by a variety of means and reactivation yields a release of virus particles. In some cases, latent infection also appears to be responsible for transformation of the host cell to a cancer cell.
Dr. Schmidt’s laboratory works on Marek's disease virus (MDV), a herpes virus that causes T-cell lymphomas in chickens. Current research interests focus on defining the cellular pathways and compartments used by MDV to achieve either a lytic or latent infection. A variety of techniques are being used to pursue these goals including cell culture, confocal fluorescence microscopy, recombinant DNA and DNA sequencing.