Juliet V. Spencer, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair


Juliet V. Spencer, Ph.D.


GRB 301


Juliet V. Spencer is a Professor and Chair of the Biology Department at Texas Woman's University.  She completed post-doctoral training at the University of Virginia Carter Immunology Center and at ChemoCentryx, Inc.  Dr. Spencer worked as a Senior Scientist in Drug Discovery at Ceretek, LLC and then joined the faculty at the University of San Francisco. After teaching microbiology at USF for 15 years, Dr. Spencer joined the faculty at TWU. Her lab focuses on herpesviruses and understanding how these viruses manipulate the human immune system.  Other reserach projects investigate virus evolution and the role of virus infection in the development and progression of cancer. She has a strong commitment to mentoring students in research and has been recognized by the Association of Women in Science for her outstanding mentorship of female students.


Ph.D., Microbiology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, 1998
B.S., Biotechnology, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA, 1993

Research Interests

Herpesviruses; Virus-host Interactions; Viral Immune Modulation; Virus Evolution

Latest Articles

Editorial: Cytokine-mediated Organ Dysfunction and Tissue Damage Induced by Viruses
Frontiers in Immunology (2020)
J V Spencer, P Religa, M H Lehmann

Who Let the Dogs Out? A Plea for Official Guidelines on Service Animals in the Teaching Laboratory
Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education (2019)
Amy Jo M Hammett, Juliet V Spencer

Human Cytomegalovirus UL111A and US27 Gene Products Enhance the CXCL12/CXCR4 Signaling Axis via Distinct Mechanisms
Journal of Virology (2018)
C C Tu, K L Arnolds, C M O'Connor, J V Spencer

The human cytomegalovirus US27 gene product constitutively activates antioxidant response element (ARE)-mediated transcription through Gβγ, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), and nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF-1)
Journal of Virology (2018)
J M Boeck, G A Stowell, C M O'Connor, J V Spencer

Human cytomegalovirus interleukin-10 enhances matrigel invasion of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells
Cancer Cell International (2017)
C A Valle Oseguera, J V Spencer

Effect of Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) US27 on CXCR4 Receptor Internalization Measured by Fluorogen-activating Protein (FAP) Biosensors
PLoS ONE (2017)
J M Boeck, J V Spencer

Modulation of the Host Environment by Human Cytomegalovirus with Viral Interleukin 10 in Peripheral Blood
Journal of Infectious Diseases (2017)
V P Young, M C Mariano, K M Allaire, C C Tu, S Avdic

Evolution of the ability to modulate host chemokine networks via gene duplication in human cytomegalovirus (HCMV)
Infection, Genetics and Evolution (2017)
J A Scarborough, J R Paul, J V Spencer

Human Cytomegalovirus interleukin-10 promotes proliferation and migration of MCF-7 breast cancer cells
Cancer Cell & Microenvironment (2015)
R K Bishop, C O Valle Oseguera, J V Spencer

Viral manipulation of the host immune response
Current Opinion in Immunology (2015)
A Christiaansen, S M Varga, J V Spencer

cmvIL-10 stimulates the invasive potential of MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells
PLoS ONE (2014)
C A Valle Oseguera, J V Spencer

CXCR4: a virus's best friend?
Infection, Genetics and Evolution (2014)
K L Arnolds, J V Spencer

The DRY box and C-terminal domain of the human cytomegalovirus US27 gene product play a role in promoting cell growth and survival
PLoS ONE (2014)
C C Tu, J V Spencer


Cytomegalovirus Encoded G Protein-Coupled Receptors. In Cytomegalovirus Infection
SM Group Open Access eBooks (2017)
J M Boeck, J V Spencer

Trojan Horses and Fake Immunity Idols: Molecular Mimicry of Cellular Immune Mediators by Human Cytomegalovirus. In Herpesviridae - A Look Into This Unique Family of Viruses
Intech (2012)
J V Spencer

Deadly Diseases and Epidemics: Cervical Cancer
Chelsea House Publishers (2007)
J V Spencer

Deadly Diseases and Epidemics: Herpes
Chelsea House Publishers (2005)
J V Spencer

Current Projects

My research centers on herpesviruses and the way they interact with their human hosts. Herpesviruses are unique in their ability to establish lifelong latent infections. The immune response is usually sufficient to prevent serious disease; however, the immune system is unable to eliminate the virus from the body. Work in my laboratory is currently focused on two areas: 1) mechanisms that herpesviruses employ to modulate host immune responses and establish lifelong latency, and 2) the contribution of herpesviruses to the development or progression of cancer. This work is funded by National Institutes of Health.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Society for Microbiology
  • American Society for Virology