Researcher Looking at Viruses and Cells

UMaine News Release – November 2005

Samuel T. Hess photoA University of Maine researcher recently has been approved for a five-year $615,155 grant from the National Institutes of Health to try to find a way human cells might reject invasions by influenza, HIV and Ebola, among other viruses. Assistant professor of Physics and Astronomy Sam Hess, whose work prior to joining the faculty at UMaine included biomedical research at the NIH, has received a “career award” to study how viruses penetrate cellular membranes and what might be done to block infection. Hess is doing the research under the guidance of UMaine Physics professor R. Dean Astumian and former colleague Joshua Zimmerberg at the NIH. Using laser-scanning fluorescence microscopes in Bennett Hall, Hess is studying how cholesterol and lipids play a role in assisting viral proteins to bond to the surface of cells, penetrate and infect them. A news release with more is here.