Paul Lambert

Credentials: Oncology Department

Position title: Small DNA tumor viruses


Phone: (608) 213-1196

6459 Wi Institute Medical Research
1111 Highland Ave
Madison, WI 53705




Cancer Biology; Virology


My laboratory primarily pursues research on human papillomaviruses (HPVs) and their role in 5% of human cancer. We have developed mouse models for several of these HPVassociated cancers including ones arising in the skin, cervix, anus, and head/neck region, and used them to dissect the individual roles and mechanisms of action of HPV oncogenes implicated in these cancers. We also use genetically engineered mouse (GEM) models to define the roles of host factors that contribute to these cancers, such as estrogen and its nuclear receptor that play essential roles in cervical carcinogenesis. We use these mouse
models as well as patient-derived xenograft models and organoid cultures to explore novel targeted therapies for treating humans with HPV-associated cancers. A second focus of our laboratory is the study of the HPV life cycle. The viral life cycle is intricately tied to the terminal differentiation of the host epithelium infected by the virus. Using a 3D organotypic culturing technique, we investigate the roles of viral and cellular genes in the papillomavirus life cycle. Recently we have begun in vivo life cycle studies on the recently identified mouse papillomavirus (MmuPV1) that infects laboratory strains of mice. The
discovery of this papillomavirus opens the door to characterizing the biology of cutaneous papillomaviruses in the context of a genetically well-defined and easily manipulatable animal species. A third focus of our lab is the study of Merkel Cell Polyomavirus (MCPyV), a recently identified polyomavirus that infects human skin and causes Merkel Cell Carcinoma. We have generated tissue culture as well as transgenic mouse model systems for studying the life cycle and oncogenicity of this virus, building on the expertise we have established through the study of papillomaviruses. I have published over 250
papers (Google Scholar h index: 79), including 25 in the past 2 years. 16 of my trainees have gone on to faculty positions.

ALSO A TRAINER IN THE FOLLOWING PROGRAMS: Cancer Biology, Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)