Elizabeth A. White, Ph.D.

faculty photo
Assistant Professor of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery
Department: Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
Department of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery
203C Johnson Pavilion
3610 Hamilton Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-746-6380
Education:
B.A. (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)
Dartmouth College, 2001.
Ph.D. (Biology)
Unversity of California, San Diego, 2007.
Permanent link
 
> Perelman School of Medicine   > Faculty   > Details

Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests
We study the molecular biology of human papillomaviruses, focusing on how these viruses cause cancer and evade immune detection.

Keywords
Human papillomavirus, tumor virus, cancer virology, transformation, innate immunity, HPV

Research Details
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection causes 5% of cancer cases worldwide, and HPV infection is the cause of all cervical cancer, some oropharyngeal cancer, and other cancers. Papillomaviruses are extraordinarily diverse, and fewer than fifteen of the >200 known HPVs are oncogenic. My research is focused on understanding the mechanisms by which HPVs manipulate the host cellular environment to evade immune responses and sometimes cause cancer.

HPV-mediated transformation: Our previous proteomic and transcriptional analyses identified many HPV targets in human cells. One of these, PTPN14, is a non-receptor tyrosine phosphatase that is specifically targeted for degradation by the oncogenic HPVs. We are working to understand the nature of PTPN14 and other targets in HPV-infected and uninfected cells and to determine the mechanistic basis by which PTPN14 degradation might contribute to carcinogenesis.

HPV modulation of innate immune responses: Although only a handful of the HPVs are oncogenic, all of them encode proteins that alter the regulation of host immune signaling. Our systematic studies also identified many new HPV targets that appear to be involved in changing immune responses in infected cells. We plan to validate these targets and extend these studies to include systematic analyses of the mechanisms by which oncogenic and non-oncogenic HPVs evade immune detection.

We are a collaborative, enthusiastic research group interested in using molecular biology, cell biology, and systems approaches to understanding HPV-host interactions and cancer.

Rotation Projects
Projects are available in each of these broad areas. Please contact Dr. White for details.

Lab Personnel
Alexis Brantly, M.Sc., Research Specialist B
Joshua Hatterschide, B.S., CAMB-MVP Graduate Student
Emily Kim, B.S., Research Specialist
Joangela Nouel, B.S., CAMB-GTV Graduate Student

Selected Publications

Hatterschide Joshua, Bohidar Amelia E, Grace Miranda, Nulton Tara J, Kim Hee Won, Windle Brad, Morgan Iain M, Munger Karl, White Elizabeth A: PTPN14 degradation by high-risk human papillomavirus E7 limits keratinocyte differentiation and contributes to HPV-mediated oncogenesis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 116(14): 7033-7042, Apr 2019.

White Elizabeth A: Manipulation of Epithelial Differentiation by HPV Oncoproteins. Viruses 11(4), Apr 2019.

White EA, Munger K.: Crowd Control: E7 Conservation Is the Key to Cancer. Cell 170: 1057-1059, 2017.

Evans Michael R, James Claire D, Bristol Molly L, Nulton Tara J, Wang Xu, Kaur Namsimar, White Elizabeth A, Windle Brad, Morgan Iain M: Human Papillomavirus 16 E2 Regulates Keratinocyte Gene Expression Relevant to Cancer and the Viral Life Cycle. Journal of virology 93(4), Feb 2019.

Bentley Peris, Tan Min Jie Alvin, McBride Alison A, White Elizabeth A, Howley Peter M: The SMC5/6 Complex Interacts with the Papillomavirus E2 Protein and Influences Maintenance of Viral Episomal DNA. Journal of virology 92(15), Aug 2018.

Chiang Cindy, Pauli Eva-Katharina, Biryukov Jennifer, Feister Katharina F, Meng Melissa, White Elizabeth A, Münger Karl, Howley Peter M, Meyers Craig, Gack Michaela U: The Human Papillomavirus E6 Oncoprotein Targets USP15 and TRIM25 To Suppress RIG-I-Mediated Innate Immune Signaling. Journal of virology 92(6), March 2018.

Cheng J, Park DE, Berrios C, White EA, Arora R, Yoon R, Branigan T, Xiao, Westerling T, Federation A, Zeid R, Strober B, Swanson SK, Florens L, Bradner JE, Brown M, Howley PM, Padi M, Washburn MP, DeCaprio JA. : Merkel cell polyomavirus recruits MYCL to the EP400 complex to promote oncogenesis. PLoS Pathogens 13: e1006668, 2017.

White EA, Münger K, Howley PM: High-Risk Human Papillomavirus E7 Proteins Target PTPN14 for Degradation. mBio 7(5): 5, Sep 2016.

Rouleau C, Pores Fernando AT, Hwang JH, Faure N, Jiang T, White EA, Roberts TM, Schaffhausen BS: Transformation by Polyomavirus Middle T Antigen Involves a Unique Bimodal Interaction with the Hippo Effector YAP. J Virol 90(16): 16, Jul 2016.

Vieira VC, Leonard B, White EA, Starrett GJ, Temiz NA, Lorenz LD, Lee D, Soares MA, Lambert PF, Howley PM, Harris RS: Human papillomavirus E6 triggers upregulation of the antiviral and cancer genomic DNA deaminase APOBEC3B. mBio 5(6): 2045, Dec 2014.

back to top
Last updated: 09/23/2019
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania