Micah Alan Luftig, PhD

Associate Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Vice-Chair in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Associate Professor of Medicine
Associate Professor of Immunology
Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
Campus mail 213 Research Dr, CARL 0036, Box 3054, Durham, NC 27710
Phone (919) 668-3091
Email address micah.luftig@duke.edu

The Luftig laboratory studies viruses that cause cancer with an overarching goal of defining the basic molecular mechanisms underlying pathogenesis and leveraging these findings for diagnostic value and therapeutic intervention. Our work primarily focuses on the common herpesvirus, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). This virus latently infects virtually all adults worldwide being acquired early in life. In the immune suppressed, EBV promotes lymphomas in the B cells that it naturally infects. However, EBV can also infect epithelial cells and other lymphocytes contributing to human cancers as wide-ranging as nasopharyngeal and gastric carcinoma to aggressive NK/T-cell, Burkitt, and Hodgkin lymphomas. Overall, EBV contributes to approximately 2% of all human cancers worldwide leading to nearly 200,000 deaths annually.

We use cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary and highly collaborative approaches to characterize the temporal dynamics and single cell heterogeneity of EBV infection. With these strategies, we aim to discover fundamental molecular circuits underlying transcriptional control, viral manipulation of host signaling pathways, and metabolic regulation that collectively influence infected cell fate decisions. By understanding the nature of viral control of infected host cells, we are also well positioned to discover vulnerabilities in EBV-associated diseases and characterize new therapeutic interventions in cell-based and pre-clinical animal models.

Education and Training

  • Ph.D., Harvard University , 2003

Publications

SoRelle, Elliott D., Joanne Dai, Emmanuela N. Bonglack, Emma M. Heckenberg, Jeffrey Y. Zhou, Stephanie N. Giamberardino, Jeffrey A. Bailey, Simon G. Gregory, Cliburn Chan, and Micah A. Luftig. “Correction: Single-cell RNA-seq reveals transcriptomic heterogeneity mediated by host-pathogen dynamics in lymphoblastoid cell lines.” Elife 10 (November 11, 2021). https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.75422.

PMID
34762045
Full Text

Yellen, Benjamin B., Jon S. Zawistowski, Eric A. Czech, Caleb I. Sanford, Elliott D. SoRelle, Micah A. Luftig, Zachary G. Forbes, Kris C. Wood, and Jeff Hammerbacher. “Massively parallel quantification of phenotypic heterogeneity in single-cell drug responses.” Sci Adv 7, no. 38 (September 17, 2021): eabf9840. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abf9840.

PMID
34533995
Full Text

Zaffiri, Lorenzo, Courtney Frankel, Erika J. Bush, Megan L. Neely, Elizabeth N. Pavlisko, Irina L. Mokrova, Micah A. Luftig, and Scott M. Palmer. “Evidence of Epstein-Barr virus heterogeneous gene expression in adult lung transplant recipients with posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder.” J Med Virol 93, no. 8 (August 2021): 5040–47. https://doi.org/10.1002/jmv.26936.

PMID
33704812
Full Text

Bonglack, Emmanuela N., Joshua E. Messinger, Jana M. Cable, James Ch’ng, K Mark Parnell, Nicolás M. Reinoso-Vizcaíno, Ashley P. Barry, et al. “Monocarboxylate transporter antagonism reveals metabolic vulnerabilities of viral-driven lymphomas.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 118, no. 25 (June 22, 2021). https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2022495118.

PMID
34161263
Full Text

Padmanabhan, Nisha, Huang Kie Kyon, Arnoud Boot, Kevin Lim, Supriya Srivastava, Shuwen Chen, Zhiyuan Wu, et al. “Author Correction: Highly recurrent CBS epimutations in gastric cancer CpG island methylator phenotypes and inflammation.” Genome Biol 22, no. 1 (June 17, 2021): 181. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13059-021-02405-z.

PMID
34140045
Full Text

Padmanabhan, Nisha, Huang Kie Kyon, Arnoud Boot, Kevin Lim, Supriya Srivastava, Shuwen Chen, Zhiyuan Wu, et al. “Highly recurrent CBS epimutations in gastric cancer CpG island methylator phenotypes and inflammation.” Genome Biology 22, no. 1 (June 2021): 167. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13059-021-02375-2.

PMID
34074348
Full Text

SoRelle, Elliott D., Joanne Dai, Emmanuela N. Bonglack, Emma M. Heckenberg, Jeffrey Y. Zhou, Stephanie N. Giamberardino, Jeffrey A. Bailey, Simon G. Gregory, Cliburn Chan, and Micah A. Luftig. “Single-cell RNA-seq reveals transcriptomic heterogeneity mediated by host-pathogen dynamics in lymphoblastoid cell lines.” Elife 10 (January 27, 2021). https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.62586.

PMID
33501914
Full Text

Klionsky, Daniel J., Amal Kamal Abdel-Aziz, Sara Abdelfatah, Mahmoud Abdellatif, Asghar Abdoli, Steffen Abel, Hagai Abeliovich, et al. “Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (4th edition)1.” Autophagy 17, no. 1 (January 2021): 1–382. https://doi.org/10.1080/15548627.2020.1797280.

PMID
33634751
Full Text

Stanland, Lyla J., and Micah A. Luftig. “The Role of EBV-Induced Hypermethylation in Gastric Cancer Tumorigenesis.” Viruses 12, no. 11 (October 28, 2020). https://doi.org/10.3390/v12111222.

PMID
33126718
Full Text

Kaymaz, Yasin, Cliff I. Oduor, Ozkan Aydemir, Micah A. Luftig, Juliana A. Otieno, John Michael Ong’echa, Jeffrey A. Bailey, and Ann M. Moormann. “Epstein-Barr Virus Genomes Reveal Population Structure and Type 1 Association with Endemic Burkitt Lymphoma.” J Virol 94, no. 17 (August 17, 2020). https://doi.org/10.1128/JVI.02007-19.

PMID
32581102
Full Text

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