Philip Kranzusch, Ph.D.
Harvard Medical School
Philip Kranzusch, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of microbiology at Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. After training in the laboratory of Sean Whelan (2007–2012) and receiving his Ph.D. from the Harvard Medical School, Philip studied as a postdoctoral fellow with Jennifer Doudna and James Berger at the University of California, Berkeley (2012–2016).
The Kranzusch lab is focused on determining how specialized RNA molecules influence cellular signaling and host-microbe interactions, and defining the function of newly discovered RNA signals in biology. Using biochemical, structural and cell biology approaches, research in the lab explains the mechanistic basis of how a cellular pathway called “cGAS-STING” activates an immune response to cytosolic DNA released during pathogen replication and cancer. Additionally, the lab made the surprising discovery that human cGAS is part of a broad family of largely uncharacterized cGAS/DncV-like nucleotidyltransferase (CD-NTase) enzymes that include over 5,000 new enzymes in bacteria and animal genomes. The long-term goal of the lab is to explain how CD-NTase enzymes shape cellular immune responses and host-microbe communication.