Biography

Dr. Gammon received his B.S. degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Windsor (Windsor, Canada) and went on to obtain his Ph.D. in Virology at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada) in the laboratory of Dr. David Evans. While at the University of Alberta, Dr. Gammon’s research helped to elucidate the genetic and biochemical nature of poxvirus resistance to clinically-important acyclic nucleoside phosphonate drugs. In addition, he identified an unusual role for poxvirus DNA polymerase proofreading activity in catalyzing genetic recombination in virus-infected cells. His work also showed that poxviruses usurp host nucleotide biosynthetic machinery by forming novel “chimeric” ribonucleotide reductase enzymes that contain both viral and host proteins. This discovery led to Drs. Gammon and Evans obtaining a U.S. patent for the use of ribonucleotide reductase-deficient poxviruses in oncolytic virotherapy.

Upon completion of his graduate research, Dr. Gammon pursued post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate, Dr. Craig Mello, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. In the Mello laboratory, he developed novel RNA virus-Lepidopteran (moth and butterfly) host systems to uncover both the immunity mechanisms used by eukaryotic organisms to restrict virus replication as well as the strategies viruses employ to counter such restrictions. These model systems arose from the observation that certain arboviruses undergo an abortive infection in Lepidopteran cells yet can replicate in these cells when host immunity is compromised during co-infection with other viruses, such as poxviruses. Using these model systems, his work has uncovered multiple conserved eukaryotic host factors that restrict arbovirus replication. These studies also identified a new family of highly conserved, microtubule-stabilizing virulence factors encoded by poxviruses that promote virus replication in Lepidopteran and vertebrate hosts. The Gammon laboratory uses a wide variety of cell culture-, virology-, molecular/cell biology, immunology, and biochemistry-related techniques to explore virus-host interplay. Using this multifaceted approach, along with newly-developed virus-host systems, Dr. Gammon’s team seeks to define the viral and host factors that ultimately determine virus host range and disease outcomes.

Education

Undergraduate
University of Windsor (2004), Biological Sciences
Graduate School
University of Alberta (2010), Virology

Research Interest

  • Host-pathogen interactions
  • Invertebrate host model systems
  • RNA/DNA virus replication, immune evasion, and pathogenesis
  • Viral manipulation of host cytoskeletal networks

Publications

Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Influenza A virus preferentially snatches noncoding RNA caps.
Gu W, Gallagher GR, Dai W, Liu P, Li R, Trombly MI, Gammon DB, Mello CC, Wang JP, Finberg RW RNA 2015 Dec 21 12 2067-75
RNA interference-mediated antiviral defense in insects.
Gammon DB, Mello CC Curr Opin Insect Sci 2015 Apr 8 111-120
A selectable and excisable marker system for the rapid creation of recombinant poxviruses.
Rintoul JL, Wang J, Gammon DB, van Buuren NJ, Garson K, Jardine K, Barry M, Evans DH, Bell JC PLoS ONE 2011 6 9 e24643
The 3'-to-5' exonuclease activity of vaccinia virus DNA polymerase is essential and plays a role in promoting virus genetic recombination.
Gammon DB, Evans DH J. Virol. 2009 May 83 9 4236-50
Mechanism of antiviral drug resistance of vaccinia virus: identification of residues in the viral DNA polymerase conferring differential resistance to antipoxvirus drugs.
Gammon DB, Snoeck R, Fiten P, Krecmerová M, Holý A, De Clercq E, Opdenakker G, Evans DH, Andrei G J. Virol. 2008 Dec 82 24 12520-34
Duplex strand joining reactions catalyzed by vaccinia virus DNA polymerase.
Hamilton MD, Nuara AA, Gammon DB, Buller RM, Evans DH Nucleic Acids Res. 2007 35 1 143-51
Cidofovir resistance in vaccinia virus is linked to diminished virulence in mice.
Andrei G, Gammon DB, Fiten P, De Clercq E, Opdenakker G, Snoeck R, Evans DH J. Virol. 2006 Oct 80 19 9391-401

Honors & Awards

  • Alberta Innovates Health Solutions Fellowship
  • Canadian Association for Graduate Studies Distinguished Dissertation Award
  • Govenor General's Academic Gold Medal
  • Izaak Walton Killam Scholar
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Fellowship
  • Ralph Steinhauer Award of Distinction

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Society for Virology (2005)