Paul Ahlquist

Paul Ahlquist

Investigator, John W. and Jeanne M. Rowe Chair of Virology



(608) 316-4460


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I lead the John W. and Jeanne M. Rowe Center for Research in Virology research team. In addition, I am a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator and a UW-Madison professor of oncology at the School of Medicine and Public Health, molecular virology in the Graduate School, and plant pathology in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. I am working to bring new talent to Wisconsin by helping to select and hire up to five top-notch investigators who will enhance research efforts to understand, prevent and treat diseases caused by viruses. I also am a National Academy of Sciences member since 1993. I see the potential to develop improved virus-derived tools for use in medicine, biotechnology and nanotechnology. We build on important strengths of the UW-Madison campus to further the understanding and control of viruses that cause acute, chronic and latent infections that lead to devastating diseases such as cancer, hepatitis, AIDS and influenza.

Areas of Expertise

  • Molecular mechanisms of viral replication
  • Host interactions and oncogenesis


B.S., 1976, Physics, Iowa State University

Ph.D., 1981, Biophysics, University of Wisconsin-Madison


Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator

Selected Publications

  • Chasman, D., Gancarz, B., Hao, L., Ferris, M., Ahlquist, P., and Craven, M.  Inferring Host Gene Subnetworks Involved in Viral Replication.  PLoS Comput. Biol., 10(5):e1003626, 2014.
  • Hao, L., Lindenbach, B., Wang, X., Dye, B., Kushner, D., He, Q., Newton, M., and Ahlquist, P.  Genome-Wide Analysis of Host Factors in Nodavirus RNA Replication.  PLoS One, 9(4):e95799, 2014.
  • Shen, Q.-T., Schuh, A. L., Zheng, Y., Quinney, K., Wang, L., Hanna, M., Mitchell, J. C., Otegui, M. S., Ahlquist, P., Cui, Q., and Audhya, A.  Structural Analysis and Modeling Reveals New Mechanisms Governing ESCRT-III Spiral Filament Assembly.  J. Cell. Biol., in press, 2014 [Epub ahead of print Sep 8 2014].
  • Wang, L., Zhao, Z., Meyer, M. B., Saha, S., Yu, M., Guo, A., Wisinski, K. B., Huang, W., Cai, W., Pike, J. W., Yuan, M., Ahlquist, P., and Xu, W.  CARM1 Methylates Chromatin Remodeling Factor BAF155 to Enhance Tumor Progression and Metastasis.  Cancer Cell, 25(1):  21-36, 2014.
  • Bruce, J. W., Reddington, R., Mathieu, E., Bracken, M., Young, J. A. T., and Ahlquist, P.  ZASC1 Stimulates HIV-1 Transcription Elongation by Recruiting P-TEFb and TAT to the LTR Promoter.  PLoS Pathog., 9(10): e1003712, 2013.
  • Giménez-Barcons, M., Alves-Rodrigues, I., Jungfleisch, J., Van Wynsberghe, P. M., Ahlquist, P., and Díez, J.  The Cellular Decapping Activators LSm1, Pat1, and Dhh1 Control the Ratio of Subgenomic to Genomic Flock House Virus RNAs.  J. Virol., 87(11): 6192-6200, 2013.
  • Hao, L., He, Q., Wang, Z., Craven, M., Newton, M. A., and Ahlquist, P.  Limited Agreement of Independent RNAi Screens for Virus-Required Host Genes Owes More to False-Negative than False-Positive Factors.  PLoS Comput. Biol., 9(9):e1003235, 2013.
  • Seidel, S., Bruce, J., Leblanc, M., Lee, K.-F., Fan, H., Ahlquist, P., and Young, J. A. T.  ZASC1 Knockout Mice Exhibit an Early Bone Marrow-Specific Defect in Murine Leukemia Virus Replication.  Virol. J., 10(1): 130, 2013.
  • Zhao, Z., Wang, L., Wen, Z., Ayaz-guner, S., Wang, Y., Ahlquist, P., and Xu, W.  Systematic Analyses of the Cytotoxic Effects of Compound 11a, a Putative Synthetic Agonist of Photoreceptor-Specific Nuclear Receptor (PNR), in Cancer Cell Lines.  PLoS One, 8(9):e75198, 2013.
  • Diaz, A., and Ahlquist, P.  Role of Host Reticulon Proteins in Rearranging Membranes for Positive-Strand RNA Virus Replication.  Curr. Opin. Microbiol., 15: 519-524, 2012.
  • Diaz, A., Gallei, A., and Ahlquist, P.  Bromovirus RNA Replication Compartment Formation Requires Concerted Action of 1a’s Self-Interacting RNA Capping and Helicase Domains.  J. Virol., 86:  821-834, 2012.
  • Huang, H.-S., Pyeon, D., Pearce, S. M., Lank, S. M., Griffin, L. M., Ahlquist, P., and Lambert, P. F.  Novel Antivirals Inhibit Early Steps in HPV Infection.  Antiviral Res., 93:  280-287, 2012.
  • Wen, Z., Pyeon, D., Wang, Y., Lambert, P., Xu, W., and Ahlquist, P.  Orphan Nuclear Receptor PNR/NR2E3 Stimulates p53 Functions by Enhancing p53 Acetylation.  Mol. Cell. Biol., 32:  26-35, 2012.
  • Zhang, J., Diaz, A., Mao, L., Ahlquist, P., and Wang, X.  Host Acyl Coenzyme A Binding Protein Regulates Replication Complex Assembly and Activity of a Positive-Strand RNA Virus.  J. Virol., 86: 5110-5121, 2012.