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Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Karl Munger

What is the ultimate goal of your research?

Approximately 5% of all human cancers are caused by infections with human papillomaviruses (HPVs). The goal of our research is to understand, at a molecular level, how HPVs reprogram their infected host cells and how this contributes to cancer formation.

What excites you about your research?

Biomedical research is all about solving puzzles. The intricate strategies that viruses have evolved to reprogram almost every regulatory circuit of a host cell provide an endless supply of exciting new puzzles to solve. The results from such studies have consistently yielded significant insights on general principles of human carcinogenesis.

What do you like best about GSBS students?

GSBS students often join our programs with plenty of research and life experience. They are generally excited about their research and are willing to work hard but also seem to have fun doing research.

What qualities distinguish GSBS from other graduate schools?

GSBS PhD programs are generally quite small, which provides for an excellent student to faculty ratio. Another thing that stands out is that GSBS empowers students to organize and run various interesting extracurricular educational events and programs.

What do you do to relax?

I often take walks over lunchtime connected to my iPod and listening to operas by George Frederic Handel. For an occasional “hard-reset” of my brain, I go on vacation where I devour trashy novels and solve crossword puzzles.

What is your favorite Boston restaurant?

There are simply too many good restaurants around here. My favorite local places are the New Shanghai for Chinese Food, Jacob Wirth for sausages, potato salad and beer and Abby Lane for amazing burgers. For more formal occasions I like Fleming’s or Smith and Wollensky nearby for their amazing steaks and excellent cocktails, or closer to home, the Masona Grill in West Roxbury.

Karl Munger
Home Town: Zurich, Switzerland
Prior Degrees: 
BS, Biochemistry, University of Zurich
PhD, Biochemistry, University of Zurich