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Frank J. Jenkins, PhD

Dr. Frank Jenkins


Fax: 412-623-1119
G.17 Hillman Cancer Center


Post-doctoral fellow, University of Chicago

PhD, Pennsylvania State University

MS, North Texas State University

Academic Affiliation(s)

Associate Professor, Department of Pathology

Associate Professor, Graduate School of Public Health, Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology

Facility Director, Biobehavioral Medicine Facility (BMF), University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute

Member, Univresity of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute

Member, Molecular Virology and Microbiology Graduate Program


Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), or HHV-8, is a newly discovered member of the human herpesvirus family whose DNA sequences have been found in samples of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). The discovery of a new human herpesvirus has generated a great deal of interest which is magnified by its potential role in the establishment of human cancers. KSHV DNA sequences have been detected in tissues from AIDS-associated, classic, and endemic forms of KS as well as in some EBV-infected lymphomas and non-KS skin cancers. A number of projects in our laboratory are focused on the prevalence of KSHV infection in various cohorts and populations. We are particularly interested in the serological association of KSHV with human prostate cancer and are investigating at a molecular level, potential roles for KSHV in progression and maintenance of this cancer. We are also exploring the events during a primary KSHV infection including interactions between the virus and cell membrane, modulation of host gene synthesis and establishment of a viral infection.

I have over 25 years experience as a molecular virologist studying human herpes viruses including pathogenesis, gene function and seroprevalence. Our laboratory is involved on several studies on human herpesvirus-8 including immune responses, establishment and reactivation of viral latency and gene function.

We have also been involved for several years in biobehavioral medicine. Specifically, we are interested in the role of stress and stress hormones in disease pathogenesis. Our current studies involve how stress hormones affect individual cells, the types of damage they may inflict on these cells and the outcomes of these interactions.