Paula Cannon, PhD

Distinguished Professor of Molecular Microbiology & Immunology

Associate Director of Cross School Programs for the MESH Academy

Special Advisor to the Provost

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Paula Cannon, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor of Microbiology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, where she leads a research team that studies viruses, stem cells and gene therapy. She obtained her PhD from the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom, and received postdoctoral training as an HIV scientist at both Oxford and Harvard universities. Although HIV remains the main focus of her work, she also studies highly pathogenic hemorrhagic fever viruses, including Ebola and Lassa fever viruses. Cannon has a long-standing interest in the development of gene therapy as a clinical approach to treating HIV infection, and her recent work in this area is aimed at disrupting the viral co-receptor, CCR5, using zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs). This approach is being evaluated in human hematopoietic stem cells to address whether such a therapy could result in a unctional cure for AIDS patients. Cannon’s research is funded by both the National Institutes of Health and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.


  • Reprogramming human B cells with custom heavy chain antibodies Res Sq. 2023 Jul 17. . View in PubMed
  • Reprogramming human B cells with custom heavy chain antibodies bioRxiv. 2023 Jun 30. . View in PubMed
  • SARS-CoV-2 Enters Human Leydig Cells and Affects Testosterone Production In Vitro Cells. 2023 04 20; 12(8). . View in PubMed
  • Comparison of SARS-CoV-2 entry inhibitors based on ACE2 receptor or engineered Spike-binding peptides J Virol. 2023 08 31; 97(8):e0068423. . View in PubMed
  • Knockdown of Astrocytic Monocarboxylate Transporter 4 in the Motor Cortex Leads to Loss of Dendritic Spines and a Deficit in Motor Learning Mol Neurobiol. 2022 Feb; 59(2):1002-1017. . View in PubMed
  • Optimization of AAV6 transduction enhances site-specific genome editing of primary human lymphocytes Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2021 Dec 10; 23:198-209. . View in PubMed
  • Rational Selection of CRISPR-Cas9 Guide RNAs for Homology-Directed Genome Editing Mol Ther. 2021 Mar 03; 29(3):1057-1069. . View in PubMed
  • Limited potential of AAV-mediated gene therapy in transducing human mesenchymal stem cells for bone repair applications Gene Ther. 2021 12; 28(12):729-739. . View in PubMed
  • Safe and Effective In Vivo Targeting and Gene Editing in Hematopoietic Stem Cells: Strategies for Accelerating Development Hum Gene Ther. 2021 01; 32(1-2):31-42. . View in PubMed
  • The genome-editing decade Mol Ther. 2021 11 03; 29(11):3093-3094. . View in PubMed
  • Genome edited B cells: a new frontier in immune cell therapies Mol Ther. 2021 11 03; 29(11):3192-3204. . View in PubMed
  • Cytoplasmic Tail Truncation of SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Enhances Titer of Pseudotyped Vectors but Masks the Effect of the D614G Mutation J Virol. 2021 10 27; 95(22):e0096621. . View in PubMed
  • Reply to “Efficient Nuclease-free HR by Clade F AAV Requires High MOIs with High Quality Vectors” Mol Ther. 2019 12 04; 27(12):2061-2062. . View in PubMed
  • Reprogramming the antigen specificity of B cells using genome-editing technologies Elife. 2019 01 17; 8. . View in PubMed
  • Gene Editing Expands the Donor Pool for CCR5-Negative Stem Cell Transplants Cell Stem Cell. 2019 12 05; 25(6):735-736. . View in PubMed
  • Homologous Recombination-Based Genome Editing by Clade F AAVs Is Inefficient in the Absence of a Targeted DNA Break Mol Ther. 2019 10 02; 27(10):1726-1736. . View in PubMed
  • Humanized Mouse Model of HIV-1 Latency with Enrichment of Latent Virus in PD-1+ and TIGIT+ CD4 T Cells J Virol. 2019 05 15; 93(10). . View in PubMed
  • HIV-1 infection of microglial cells in a reconstituted humanized mouse model and identification of compounds that selectively reverse HIV latency J Neurovirol. 2018 04; 24(2):192-203. . View in PubMed
  • Inhibition of 53BP1 favors homology-dependent DNA repair and increases CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing efficiency Nat Biotechnol. 2018 01; 36(1):95-102. . View in PubMed
  • Protect NIH’s DNA advisory committee Science. 2018 10 26; 362(6413):409-410. . View in PubMed
  • Gene Therapy Approaches to Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Other Infectious Diseases Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 2017 10; 31(5):883-895. . View in PubMed
  • Spatiotemporally restricted arenavirus replication induces immune surveillance and type I interferon-dependent tumour regression Nat Commun. 2017 03 01; 8:14447. . View in PubMed
  • Clinical Applications of Genome Editing to HIV Cure AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2016 12; 30(12):539-544. . View in PubMed
  • International AIDS Society global scientific strategy: towards an HIV cure 2016 Nat Med. 2016 08; 22(8):839-50. . View in PubMed
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus Immune Cell Receptors, Coreceptors, and Cofactors: Implications for Prevention and Treatment AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2016 07; 30(7):291-306. . View in PubMed
  • The clinical applications of genome editing in HIV Blood. 2016 05 26; 127(21):2546-52. . View in PubMed
  • Preclinical development and qualification of ZFN-mediated CCR5 disruption in human hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2016; 3:16067. . View in PubMed
  • A Cure for HIV Infection: “Not in My Lifetime” or “Just Around the Corner”? Pathog Immun. 2016; 1(1):154-164.. View in PubMed
  • Homology-driven genome editing in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells using ZFN mRNA and AAV6 donors Nat Biotechnol. 2015 Dec; 33(12):1256-1263. . View in PubMed
  • Determinants in HIV-2 Env and tetherin required for functional interaction Retrovirology. 2015 Aug 07; 12:67. . View in PubMed
  • Novel Arenavirus Entry Inhibitors Discovered by Using a Minigenome Rescue System for High-Throughput Drug Screening J Virol. 2015 Aug; 89(16):8428-43. . View in PubMed
  • Genome editing technologies: defining a path to clinic Mol Ther. 2015 May; 23(5):796-806. . View in PubMed
  • AAV-expressed eCD4-Ig provides durable protection from multiple SHIV challenges Nature. 2015 Mar 05; 519(7541):87-91. . View in PubMed
  • HIV eradication–from Berlin to Boston Nat Biotechnol. 2014 Apr; 32(4):315-6. . View in PubMed
  • Pre-clinical modeling of CCR5 knockout in human hematopoietic stem cells by zinc finger nucleases using humanized mice J Infect Dis. 2013 Nov; 208 Suppl 2:S160-4. . View in PubMed
  • Genomic editing of the HIV-1 coreceptor CCR5 in adult hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells using zinc finger nucleases Mol Ther. 2013 Jun; 21(6):1259-69. . View in PubMed
  • A systems biology starter kit for arenaviruses Viruses. 2012 Dec; 4(12):3625-46. . View in PubMed
  • Anti-tetherin activities of HIV-1 Vpu and Ebola virus glycoprotein do not involve removal of tetherin from lipid rafts J Virol. 2012 May; 86(10):5467-80. . View in PubMed
  • Substitutions in the glycoprotein (GP) of the Candid#1 vaccine strain of Junin virus increase dependence on human transferrin receptor 1 for entry and destabilize the metastable conformation of GP J Virol. 2011 Dec; 85(24):13457-62. . View in PubMed
  • Lack of adaptation to human tetherin in HIV-1 group O and P Retrovirology. 2011 Sep 28; 8:78. . View in PubMed
  • Chemokine receptor 5 knockout strategies Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 2011 Jan; 6(1):74-9. . View in PubMed
  • Human hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells modified by zinc-finger nucleases targeted to CCR5 control HIV-1 in vivo Nat Biotechnol. 2010 Aug; 28(8):839-47. . View in PubMed
  • Ebola virus glycoprotein counteracts BST-2/Tetherin restriction in a sequence-independent manner that does not require tetherin surface removal J Virol. 2010 Jul; 84(14):7243-55. . View in PubMed
  • HIV-1 Vpu and HIV-2 Env counteract BST-2/tetherin by sequestration in a perinuclear compartment Retrovirology. 2010 Jun 07; 7:51. . View in PubMed
  • Pseudotyping incompatibility between HIV-1 and gibbon ape leukemia virus Env is modulated by Vpu J Virol. 2010 Mar; 84(6):2666-74. . View in PubMed
  • Anti-tetherin activities in Vpu-expressing primate lentiviruses Retrovirology. 2010 Feb 18; 7:13. . View in PubMed
  • Vpu-dependent block to incorporation of GaLV Env into lentiviral vectors Retrovirology. 2010 Jan 26; 7:4. . View in PubMed
  • Investigation of clade B New World arenavirus tropism by using chimeric GP1 proteins J Virol. 2010 Jan; 84(2):1176-82. . View in PubMed
  • Stable transgene expression in primitive human CD34+ hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, using the Sleeping Beauty transposon system Hum Gene Ther. 2009 Dec; 20(12):1607-26. . View in PubMed
  • Tissue-specific restriction of cyclophilin A-independent HIV-1- and SIV-derived lentiviral vectors Gene Ther. 2008 Aug; 15(15):1079-89. . View in PubMed
  • Receptor use by the Whitewater Arroyo virus glycoprotein Virology. 2008 Feb 20; 371(2):439-46. . View in PubMed
  • New world clade B arenaviruses can use transferrin receptor 1 (TfR1)-dependent and -independent entry pathways, and glycoproteins from human pathogenic strains are associated with the use of TfR1 J Virol. 2008 Jan; 82(2):938-48. . View in PubMed
  • Promoter choice for retroviral vectors: transcriptional strength versus trans-activation potential Hum Gene Ther. 2007 Sep; 18(9):849-60. . View in PubMed
  • Differences in tropism and pH dependence for glycoproteins from the Clade B1 arenaviruses: implications for receptor usage and pathogenicity Virology. 2007 Jul 20; 364(1):132-9. . View in PubMed
  • Receptor use by pathogenic arenaviruses Virology. 2006 Sep 15; 353(1):111-20. . View in PubMed
  • Recruitment of the adaptor protein 2 complex by the human immunodeficiency virus type 2 envelope protein is necessary for high levels of virus release J Virol. 2006 Mar; 80(6):2924-32. . View in PubMed
  • Functional domains within the human immunodeficiency virus type 2 envelope protein required to enhance virus production J Virol. 2005 Mar; 79(6):3627-38. . View in PubMed
  • Cytoplasmic tail of Moloney murine leukemia virus envelope protein influences the conformation of the extracellular domain: implications for mechanism of action of the R Peptide J Virol. 2003 Jan; 77(2):1281-91. . View in PubMed
  • Restoration of type VII collagen expression and function in dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa Nat Genet. 2002 Dec; 32(4):670-5. . View in PubMed
  • Use of pseudotyped retroviral vectors to analyze the receptor-binding pocket of hemagglutinin from a pathogenic avian influenza A virus (H7 subtype) Virus Res. 2002 Feb 26; 83(1-2):43-56. . View in PubMed
  • Vesicular stomatitis virus G-pseudotyped lentivirus vectors mediate efficient apical transduction of polarized quiescent primary alveolar epithelial cells J Virol. 2001 Dec; 75(23):11747-54. . View in PubMed
  • Retroviral vectors bearing IgG-binding motifs for antibody-mediated targeting of vascular endothelial growth factor receptors Int J Mol Med. 2001 Oct; 8(4):335-43. . View in PubMed
  • Genomic stability of murine leukemia viruses containing insertions at the Env-3′ untranslated region boundary J Virol. 2001 Aug; 75(15):6989-98. . View in PubMed
  • Sequences in the cytoplasmic tail of the gibbon ape leukemia virus envelope protein that prevent its incorporation into lentivirus vectors J Virol. 2001 May; 75(9):4129-38. . View in PubMed
  • Receptor-specific targeting mediated by the coexpression of a targeted murine leukemia virus envelope protein and a binding-defective influenza hemagglutinin protein Hum Gene Ther. 2001 Mar 01; 12(4):323-32. . View in PubMed
  • Identification of regions in the Moloney murine leukemia virus SU protein that tolerate the insertion of an integrin-binding peptide Virology. 2000 Mar 30; 269(1):7-17. . View in PubMed
  • Targeting retroviral vectors to CD34-expressing cells: binding to CD34 does not catalyze virus-cell fusion Hum Gene Ther. 1999 Mar 01; 10(4):545-57. . View in PubMed
  • Role of variable regions A and B in receptor binding domain of amphotropic murine leukemia virus envelope protein J Virol. 1998 Nov; 72(11):9101-8. . View in PubMed
  • Characterization of the proline-rich region of murine leukemia virus envelope protein J Virol. 1998 Jul; 72(7):5383-91. . View in PubMed
  • Functional domains in the retroviral transmembrane protein J Virol. 1998 Jul; 72(7):5392-8. . View in PubMed
  • Mutational analysis of the fusion peptide of Moloney murine leukemia virus transmembrane protein p15E J Virol. 1998 Feb; 72(2):1632-9. . View in PubMed
  • Identification of envelope protein residues required for the expanded host range of 10A1 murine leukemia virus J Virol. 1997 Nov; 71(11):8103-8. . View in PubMed
  • Functional analysis of the cytoplasmic tail of Moloney murine leukemia virus envelope protein J Virol. 1997 May; 71(5):3613-9. . View in PubMed
  • Structure-function studies of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 matrix protein, p17 J Virol. 1997 May; 71(5):3474-83. . View in PubMed
  • Murine leukemia virus-based Tat-inducible long terminal repeat replacement vectors: a new system for anti-human immunodeficiency virus gene therapy J Virol. 1996 Nov; 70(11):8234-40. . View in PubMed
  • Conserved sequences in the carboxyl terminus of integrase that are essential for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 replication J Virol. 1996 Jan; 70(1):651-7. . View in PubMed
  • A transient three-plasmid expression system for the production of high titer retroviral vectors Nucleic Acids Res. 1995 Feb 25; 23(4):628-33. . View in PubMed
  • Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 integrase: effect on viral replication of mutations at highly conserved residues J Virol. 1994 Aug; 68(8):4768-75. . View in PubMed
  • Analysis of Tat function in human immunodeficiency virus type 1-infected low-level-expression cell lines U1 and ACH-2 J Virol. 1994 Mar; 68(3):1993-7. . View in PubMed
  • Inhibition of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Tat-dependent activation of translation in Xenopus oocytes by the benzodiazepine Ro24-7429 requires trans-activation response element loop sequences J Virol. 1994 Jan; 68(1):25-33. . View in PubMed
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  • Chimeric gag-V3 virus-like particles of human immunodeficiency virus induce virus-neutralizing antibodies Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Nov 01; 89(21):10527-31. . View in PubMed

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