Research Group

Jason Mercer Research Group

2005 Ph.D. Microbiology and Molecular Genetics; Medical College of Wisconsin, USA
1998 B.A. Biological Sciences; Northern Illinois University, USA
Jason Mercer
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7679 3528
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7679 7805
2015-2020 ERC Consolidator Grant
2011-2014 Swiss National Science Foundation Ambizione
2008-2010 EMBO Long-term Postdoctoral Fellowship
2007-2008 Roche Postdoctoral Fellowship
1997 NIU at Oxford Research Fellowship
Previous Posts: 
2011-2014 Oberassistent/Group Leader; ETH Zurich, Switzerland
2006-2011 Postdoctoral Fellow; ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Cell Biology of Virus Infection


obligate intracellular parasites viruses intimately rely on host cell factors
for all stages of their replication.  Our
group is interested in deciphering the complex interactions that occur between poxviruses
and their host cells during all stages of the infection cycle. We investigate how
viruses initiate their internalization by endocytosis, and how they utilize transport
within cellular endocytic systems to their advantage.  We are also analyzing how the viral genome and
accessory proteins escape into the cytosol, and how replication proceeds.

these we combine cellular, molecular, and virological techniques with state-of-the-art
technologies such as automated small compound and image-based siRNA screening, advanced
proteomics, live cell microscopy, and electron microscopy. Our particular
interests lie in uncovering novel mechanisms by which viruses subjugate host
cell functions to facilitate their entry, replication, and spread.

VACV Assays

Systematic analysis of the poxvirus lifecycle. Representative images of each of the stages of the
virus lifecycle for which we have developed specific, quantitative, high- or medium-
throughput assays.


CR Cover

Cell Reports on the cover: Vaccinia virus, the prototypic poxvirus, is complex in structure. Virions consist of a lipid bilayer surrounding a genome-containing core, which is flanked by two proteinaceous lateral bodies, the composition and function of which has remained enigmatic for over 40 years. In this issue, Mercer and colleagues show that poxvirus lateral bodies, akin to herpesvirus tegument, serve as delivery containers for viral immunomodulatory proteins. The cover image shows a collection of immunoelectron micrographs of vaccinia virions labeled for the viral protein F17, identified as a major lateral body component. Images by C.K.E. Bleck.