Research Interests: Varicella-zoster virus. VZV is the virus that causes chickenpox in children and shingles in the elderly. We study the components of the virus. We use a variety of molecular biology techniques. We also use the newest imaging techniques, to determine the sites on the virus that interact with the cell. Of recent interest, we have discovered the first mutant strain of varicella-zoster ever found anywhere in the world. Human herpes virus type 8. HHV-8 causes Kaposi sarcoma in AIDS patients. However, 3 to 5% of otherwise healthy people in the United States are infected with this virus. It is not known how this virus is transmitted from person to person. We are currently studying neonates in Iowa to determine if the virus is transmitted at time of delivery or shortly thereafter.