Mike Lagunoff, Ph.D.

Michael Lagunoff, Ph.D.

Professor, Microbiology and Adjunct Professor, Immunology

Michael Lagunoff received his bachelors degree in Chemistry from Oberlin College and his Ph.D. in Virology from the University of Chicago. He went on to do his post-doctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco where he began work on the molecular biology of Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus. Michael is a professor in the Department of Microbiology and has an adjunct appointment in Immunology.

Contact Info

Department of Microbiology
University of Washington  
Office J-279, HSC, Box 357242
1959 NE Pacific Street
Seattle WA 98195
Phone: 206-616-4285
Fax: 206-616-1575

Research Areas

  • Molecular Immunology
    Cancer Immunology



Mike Lagunoff on PubMed

The laboratory studies the molecular virology of Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated herpes virus (KSHV). KSHV is the infectious cause of Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS). KS is a highly vascularized hyperplasia that is the most common tumor in AIDS patients and is currently the most commonly reported tumor in regions of Africa. KSHV is also associated with two B-cell lymphoproliferative diseases, primary effusion lymphoma and AIDS-associated multicentric Castleman's disease. The laboratory is interested in how the virus alters the host cell to induce tumors. KSHV encodes over 80 genes and many are involved in altering host cell signal transduction. The laboratory focuses on how initiation of signal transduction pathways by viral genes leads to viral pathogenesis in endothelial and B-cells.

We are currently working on how KSHV induced signaling through the gp130 receptor induces persistent STAT3 activation and subsequent AKT activation, pathways commonly activated in tumors. This pathway is also involved in KSHV driven differentiation of blood endothelial cells to lymphatic endothelium and we are interested the role of differentiation in the biology of KSHV. We also have a major focus on viral induced angiogenesis. KS tumors are highly vascularized and KSHV induces many genes involved in angiogenesis. Ongoing studies in the lab examine the role of KSHV induced angiogenesis in KSHV biology.

1. Gantt S, Carlsson J, Ikoma M, Gachelet E, Gray M, Geballe AP, Corey L, Casper C, Lagunoff M, Vieira J. The HIV protease inhibitor nelfinavir inhibits Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpes virus replication in vitro.  Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2011 Jun;55(6):2696-703. Epub 2011 Mar 14.

2. Delgado T, Carroll PA, Punjabi AS, Margineantu D, Hockenbery DM, Lagunoff M. Induction of the Warburg effect by Kaposi's sarcoma herpes virus is required for the maintenance of latently infected endothelial cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Jun 8;107(23):10696-701. Epub 2010 May 24.

B.A., Chemistry, Oberlin College
Ph.D., Virology, University of Chicago