Megan Spurgeon

Megan Spurgeon




(608) 316-3999


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Tumor viruses cause at least 15% of human cancers worldwide. The Spurgeon Lab studies two different small DNA tumor viruses: Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) and human papillomaviruses (HPVs). Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) is the most recently discovered human tumor virus and causes Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), a neuroendocrine cancer of the skin. Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States and cause cancers at various anatomical sites including the anogenital tract and oral cavity in both women and men. Our research investigates the virus-host interactions that contribute to the pathogenesis and oncogenic potential of MCPyV and HPV and seeks to elucidate the mechanisms by which their viral proteins cause disease and cancer. To do so, the Spurgeon Lab specializes in the development and application of novel preclinical models of small DNA tumor virus action. Our research interests intersect with several scientific disciplines, including virology, cancer biology, and cell/molecular biology.