Dr. James White joined the Department of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases as an Instructor on July 1, 2019.
Dr. James White completed his Bachelor’s of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Albany, State University of New York in 2005. As an undergraduate, James conducted research at Albany Medical College in the laboratories of Dr. Mario Canki investigating HIV-1 infection of primary human astrocytes and the laboratory of Dr. Timothy Sellati studying pneumonic tularemia. He then joined the Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine where he investigated picornaviral regulation of translation and evasion of the cellular stress response in the laboratory of Dr. Richard Lloyd. During his doctoral thesis work, James discovered multiple mechanisms by which proteolytic cleavage of cellular factors by the viral encoded 3C proteinase mediates evasion of cellular stress responses. Specifically, that by cleaving the stress granule nucleating protein G3BP1, picornaviruses inhibit the formation of cytoplasmic stress granules, thus preventing sequestration of RNA binding proteins required for viral replication. Additionally, he found that proteolytic cleavage of the initiation factor eIF5B allows for picornaviruses to utilize a novel eIF2-independent mode of translation initiation. He completed his Ph.D. in 2011 and then joined the laboratory of Michael Diamond at Washington University School of Medicine for his postdoctoral training. During his postdoctoral studies, James studied recognition of self-RNA by an evolutionarily conserved family of innate immune effector proteins called lift proteins. Currently, he is studying the pathogenesis of flavivirus infection in the gastrointestinal tract and the effects of viral infection of the enteric nervous system on gastrointestinal motility and function.