Dan Loeb

Contact Information

(608) 262-1260
6453 WI Institutes for Medical Research


BS, 1981, Biochemistry, Pennsylvania State University
PhD, 1988, Microbiology and Immunology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Postdoctoral Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and University of California, San Francisco


Professor of Oncology
Co-Director, Cancer Biology Graduate Program
Virology Program Member, UW Carbone Cancer Center

Research Description

Hepatitis B viruses (HBV) are a family of DNA viruses that can persistently infect the liver of a variety of animal hosts including humans. There is a close association between chronic HBV infection and hepatocellular carcinoma, though the mechanism of oncogenesis is not understood. Although they have a DNA genome, hepadnaviruses replicate via reverse transcription of an RNA intermediate (RNA pregenome) resulting in a relaxed circular DNA genome. The major project in our laboratory is understanding the mechanism of HBV reverse transcription. We are studying the mechanisms of RNA encapsidation, initiation and synthesis of minus-strand DNA, initiation and synthesis of plus-strand DNA, and genome circularization during plus-strand DNA synthesis. To understand the mechanism of these processes during reverse transcription we are (1) defining the cis-acting sequences involved in each step of the process, (2) determining the role of the viral trans-acting factors in each step of the process, and (3) determining the nature of the interactions between the trans-acting factors and the cis-acting elements during the process of reverse transcription.

National Committees

Member, American Cancer Center Society Study Section, Microbial Pathogeneis and Cancer Peer Review Committee, 2007-Present

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