Christiana Binkley


B.A. with Distinction, Molecular Biology, Kenyon College 2013-2017
Molecular Genetics REU Scholar, The Ohio State University, Summer 2015
Visiting Researcher, The Ohio State University- 2016-present
Member of Sigma Xi, Science Research Honor Society


Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) is an oncogenic alpharetrovirus, and serves as an excellent model system for studying more complex retroviruses like HIV-1. Retroviruses encode the polyprotein Gag which packages genomic RNA into new virions. My work focuses on understanding the structure and function of the matrix (MA) domain of Gag. MA is a promiscuous domain, demonstrating non-specific binding to RNAs via electrostatic interactions. However, MA is necessary for WT-level selectivity by full-length Gag. Understanding the structure and function of MA will allow for more informed conclusions to be drawn about Gag’s selectivity and retroviral RNA packaging.