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Research Center for Infectious DiseasesLAB. OF Virus-Host Coevolution

Associate Professor Takayuki Miyazawa Associate Professor

Takayuki Miyazawa

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Viruses are recognized as nuisances that cause disease; however, is that really all they are? Retroviruses cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and leukemia. However, there are many retrovirus-derived sequences in our genome. And they have been deeply involved in the evolution of mammals. In our laboratory, we are studying not only zoonotic and emerging viral infections that are transmitted from animals to humans, but also viruses related to the evolution of organisms and anti-tumor viruses.



Takayuki Miyazawa


Uncovering the process of co-evolution between virus and host

Many viruses induce a variety of diseases in animals and humans; meanwhile, they are also involved in the hosts’ evolution. Mammals acquired various antivirals to counteract pathogenic viruses in the past, and these antivirals evolved through time. Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) occupy about 10% of mammalian genomes. New exogenous retroviruses arise from ERVs by recombination and induce diseases in the new hosts. On the other hand, certain proteins derived from ERVs are known to be involved in placental morphogenesis. In this laboratory, we aim to reveal the mechanisms of the emergence of new viral diseases and the process of coevolution between mammals and viruses.