Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) is a widely studied prototype enveloped virus that serves as a model for many other viruses that have envelopes as part of their structure.
Research programs focus on molecular interactions involved in virus assembly and molecular mechanisms involved in viral pathogenesis. During virus assembly, the viral matrix protein suppresses host gene expression. This activity represents a second function for matrix protein in virus-infected cells in addition to its role in virus assembly. These viral matrix protein mutants have been shown to selectively kill cancer cells (oncolytic viruses), and are more effective vaccine vectors. These include: