Retroviral invasion of the koala genome: Where did it come from and what is it doing now that its there? (2008–2010)

We have recently shown that a retrovirus of koalas, KoRV is an endogenous element that is vertically transmitted through the koala germ-line and is associated with high rates of cancer in both captive and wild koala populations. In this project we will trace the origins of this virus by exploring its relationship to retroviruses of other native Australian species, examine its growth characteristics and host range to assess the extent and potential risk of possible cross-species transmission and investigate the molecular basis of its insertion in the koala genome to determine its role in cancer induction and potential intervention strategies.
Grant type:
ARC Discovery Projects
  • Head of School
    School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
    Faculty of Science
    Affiliate Professor
    Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
    Affiliated Professor
    Institute for Molecular Bioscience
  • Professor
    School of Veterinary Science
    Faculty of Science
Funded by:
Australian Research Council