Johan den Boon

Johan den Boon

Morgridge Fellow



(608) 316-4462


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Research website

The central interest in our lab is to understand how viruses replicate and how that depends on critical virus-host interactions. We hope to apply such understanding to develop and refine strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat, and cure viral infections and their associated diseases. My efforts currently have a strong focus on understanding the molecular mechanisms of RNA virus RNA replication, and on how certain DNA virus infections induce fundamental changes in host gene expression that result in development of cancers.


B.S., Biology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Ph.D., Medical Microbiology, Leiden University, The Netherlands

Selected Publications

  • N. Unchwaniwala, H. Zhan, J. Pennington, M. Horswill, J. A. den Boon, and P. Ahlquist. Subdomain Cryo-EM Structure of Nodaviral Replication Protein A Crown Complex Provides Mechanistic Insights into RNA Genome Replication. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020, Jul 20;202006165. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2006165117. Epub 2020 Jul 20. PubMed PMID: 32690711
  • M. E. Spurgeon, J. A. den Boon, M. Horswill, S. Barthakur, O. Forouzan, J. S. Rader, D. J. Beebe, A. Roopra, P. Ahlquist, and P. F. Lambert. Human Papillomavirus Oncogenes Reprogram the Cervical Cancer Microenvironment Independently of and Synergistically with Estrogen. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Oct 24;114(43):E9076-E9085. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1712018114. Epub 2017 Oct 9. PubMed PMID: 29073104.
  • K. J. Ertel, D. Benefield, D. CastaƱo-Diez, J. G. Pennington, M. Horswill, J. A. den Boon, M. S. Otegui, P. Ahlquist. Cryo-Electron Tomography Reveals Novel Features of a Viral RNA Replication Compartment. Elife. 2017 Jun 27;6. pii: e25940. doi: 10.7554/eLife.25940. PubMed PMID: 28653620; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5515581.
  • C. Bodelon, S. Vinokurova, J. N. Sampson, J. A. den Boon, J. L. Walker, M. A. Horswill, K. Korthauer, M. Schiffman, M. E. Sherman, R. E. Zuna, J. Mitchell, X. Zhang, J. F. Boland, A. K. Chaturvedi, S. T. Dunn, M. A. Newton, P Ahlquist, S. S. Wang, N. Wentzensen. Chromosomal Copy Number Alterations and HPV Integration in Cervical Precancer and Invasive Cancer. Carcinogenesis. 2016 Feb;37(2):188-196. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgv171. Epub 2015 Dec 9. PubMed PMID: 26660085; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4834967.
  • J. A. den Boon, D. Pyeon, S. S. Wang, M. Horswill, M. Schiffman, M. Sherman, R. Zuna, Z. Wang, S. Hewitt, R. Pearson, M. Schott, L. Chung, Q. He, P. F. Lambert, J. Walker, M. A. Newton, N. Wentzensen, and P. Ahlquist. Molecular Transitions from Papillomavirus Infection to Cervical Precancer and Cancer: Role of Stromal Estrogen Receptor Signaling. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Jun 23;112(25):E3255-64. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1509322112. Epub 2015 Jun 8. PubMed PMID: 26056290; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4485108.