Faculty: John L. Casey

John L. Casey

Dr. Casey is an Associate Professor of Microbiology & Immunology


  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1984
  • At Georgetown Since: 1990
  • Current lab has capacity for both new PhD stidents and Post Doctoral Fellows
  • Contact: (202) 687-1052; caseyj@georgetown.edu


My laboratory is investigating the molecular biology of viral hepatitis. Current efforts are focused on the molecular biology of hepatitis delta virus (HDV), a unique human pathogen that causes severe liver disease. There are 10 – 15 million people infected with HDV worldwide, and there is currently no therapy. The 1680nt circular HDV RNA genome is the smallest known to infect man, and produces just one protein. It is thus not surprising that HDV relies heavily on host functions and that its RNA is replete with unusual functional properties. These properties make investigating this virus particularly interesting and rewarding for both molecular virologists and RNA biologists.

Goals are to determine the mechanisms of viral RNA replication, packaging and pathogenesis, and the roles of cellular factors, the viral protein, and viral RNAs in these processes. Specific areas of interest include HDV RNA editing (a host activity that is increasingly recognized as an important post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism, particularly in brain), and genetic variations (particularly as they relate to RNA replication and pathogenesis). Our approaches include both cell-based and in vitro techniques, and take advantage of our unique collection of full-length infectious clones of HDV variants that we have developed.


  • Gandy, S.Z., Linnstaedt, S.D., Muraldihar, S., Cashman, K.A., Rosenthal, L.J. and Casey, J.L. 2007. RNA Editing of the HHV-8 kaposin transcript eliminates its transforming activity and is induced during lytic replication. J. Virol. 81:13544-51.
  • Linnstaedt, S.D., Kasprzak, W.K., Shapiro, B.A. and Casey, J.L. 2006. The role of a metastable RNA secondary structure in hepatitis delta virus genotype III RNA editing. RNA 12:1521-33.
  • Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology: Hepatitis Delta Virus. 2006. J.L. Casey, ed. Heidelberg: Springer.
  • Casey, J.L. 2006. RNA Editing in Hepatitis Delta Virus. 67 – 89. In: Hepatitis Delta Virus, J.L. Casey, ed. Heidelberg: Springer.
  • Casey, J.L., Tennant, B.C., and Gerin, J.L. 2006. Genetic changes in hepatitis delta virus in acute and chronically infected woodchucks. J. Virol. 80:6469-77.
  • Casey, J.L. and Gerin, J.L. 2006. The Woodchuck Model of HDV Infection. In: Hepatitis Delta Virus, J.L. Casey, ed. Heidelberg: Springer.
  • Jayan, G.C., and Casey, J.L. 2005. The effect of conserved RNA secondary structures on hepatitis delta virus genotype I RNA editing, replication and virus production J. Virol. 79:11187-93.
  • Casey, J.L., Cote, P.J., Toshkov, I.A., Chu, C.K., Gerin, J.L., Hornbuckle, W.E., Tennant, B.C., and Korba, B.E. 2005. Clevudine inhibits hepatitis delta virus viremia: a pilot study in chronically infected woodchucks. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 49:4396-9.
  • Cheng, Q.C., G.C. Jayan, and J.L. Casey 2003. Differential inhibition of RNA editing in hepatitis delta virus genotype III by the short and long forms of hepatitis delta antigen. J. Virol 77:7786-95.
  • Casey, J.L. 2002. RNA editing in hepatitis delta virus genotype III requires a branched double-hairpin RNA structure J Virol. 76:7385-97.

Medline publications list