Director: Deepak Shukla, PhD

Marion H. Schenk Esq. Professor in Ophthalmology

Professor of Ophthalmology, Microbiology and Immunology

About Us

Top#5 Most Productive Herpes VirologyLabs in the World - Ref Scopus

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a double-stranded DNA virus, belonging to Alphaherpesvirinae family, a subfamily of the Herpesviridae family. There are two highly related serotypes of HSV: HSV-1 and HSV-2. Our lab focusses on Viral and Immunological basis of ocular diseases, molecular mechanisms of HSV entry and exit, development of new anti-viral agents and vaccines.

Research In Focus

Microbivac Platform

The tetrapod-shaped zinc-oxide nanoparticles, called ZOTEN, have negatively charged surfaces that attract the HSV-2 virus, which has positively charged proteins on its outer envelope. ZOTEN nanoparticles were synthesized using technology developed by material scientists at Kiel University, Germany and protected under a joint patent with UIC.more

Heparanase Research

Heparanase is a host enzyme required for herpes simplex virus-1 release from cells. HPSE acts as a molecular switch for turning a virus-permissive attachment mode of host cells to a virus-deterring detachment mode. Since many human viruses use HS as an attachment receptor, the HPSE-HS interplay may delineate a common mechanism for virus release.more

Current Research

Current investigations include the development of anti-viral agents and vaccines against ocular herpes, the immunbiology and pathogenesis of herpetic eye infections, and molecular mechanisms of herpesvirus entry into human corneal cells.

Anti HSV Peptides/

Extended release of an anti HS peptide through a commercially available contact lens can generate significant anti HSV 1 activity and provides a new and effective way to control corneal herpes.Read More


Herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) attach to cell surface heparan sulfate (HS) for entry into host cells. However, the HS moieties on parent cells can trap newly exiting viral progenies and inhibit their release. We demonstrated that heparanase (HPSE), is upregulated through NF-kB and translocated to the cell surface upon HSV-1 infection for the removal of HS to facilitate viral release.Read More


We demonstrate that ZOTEN, when used intravaginally as a microbicide, is an effective suppressor of HSV-2 genital infection in female BALB/c mice.Read More


A major virulence mechanism of HSV-1 is the control of autophagy, an innate immune defense strategy that could otherwise degrade viral particles.Thus, it is possible to propose that autophagy stimulation may provide a broad-spectrum therapy against HSV viruses known to be regulated by autophagy.Read More

For other publications, please follow the link


UIC Collaborators

Prof. Bellur S. Prabhakar, Microbiology and Immunology

Prof. Tibor Valyi-Nagy, Neuropathology

Dr. Vinay Kumar Aakalu, Lacrimal Cell Biology

Prof. Marlene Bouvier, Microbiology and Immunology

Dr. Sandeep Jain, Corneal Neurobiology

Non-UIC Collaborators

Prof. Jian Liu UNC, Chapel Hill

Prof. Rainer Adelung Kiel University

Prof. Patrick M. Stuart St. Louis University

Our lab is open to collaborations in the field of Herpes virology for the development of new antivirals and vaccines

For Latest Lab News, Please follow the link

Contact us

Mailing Address:

UIC Department of Ophthalmology

1855 W. Taylor Street, MC 648

Chicago, Illinois 60612

Office Location: LIERI Room 233