• 2235 Citations
  • 22 h-Index
1987 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Professional information

Fellow, Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Deans (2018)

Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (2017)

Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology (2014)

Fellow, American College of Physicians (2012)

Fellow, Infectious Diseases Society of America (2009)

Diplomate, Subspecialty of Infectious Diseases, American Board of Internal Medicine (1996; recertified through 2024)

Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine (1990)


Research interests

Dr. Leslie Parent's research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the assembly of retrovirus particles. Her laboratory members uses genetic, biochemical, biophysical and live-cell imaging approaches to dissect the viral and cellular factors that mediate the trafficking of retroviral proteins and genomic RNA complexes in infected cells. Their investigation of the host factors involved in transport of retroviral proteins and RNAs throughout the cell is at the interface of virology and cellular biology.

Recent work in Dr. Parent's laboratory has focused on studying the mechanism by which retroviruses recognize their RNA genomes and select them for incorporation into virions. She has adopted a comparative retrovirology approach by comparing and contrasting the replication strategies of Rous sarcoma virus, mouse mammary tumor virus and human immunodeficiency virus. Members of her laboratory discovered that the Gag protein of Rous sarcoma virus undergoes nuclear trafficking, which is required for efficient incorporation of genomic RNA into virions. This work challenges the current dogma of how retroviruses select and incorporate their genomic RNA into virus particles. 

In addition to her research, Dr. Parent is a standing member of the NIH study section HVCD (HIV Molecular Virology, Cell Biology and Drug Discovery).

Teaching and educational interests

Dr. Leslie Parent participates in the training of medical students, residents and fellows in clinical infectious diseases. She is co-director of Penn State College of Medicine's MD/PhD Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), where she is involved in mentoring the next generation of physician-scientists. 

Education/Academic qualification

Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program, Drexel University College of Medicine

… → 2016

Retrovirology, Research Fellowship, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center


Infectious Disease, Fellowship, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center


Internal Medicine, Residency, Duke University


MD, Duke University

… → 1987

External positions

Associate Editor, Retrovirology

2019 → …

Editorial Board Member, Journal of Virology

2004 → …

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  • Research Output

    RNA-binding domains of heterologous viral proteins substituted for basic residues in the RSV gag NC domain restore specific packaging of genomic RNA

    Rice, B. L., Lochmann, T. L. & Parent, L. J., Jan 1 2020, In : Viruses. 12, 4, 370.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Rous sarcoma virus genomic RNA dimerization capability in vitro is not a prerequisite for viral infectivity

    Liu, S., Maldonado, R. K., Rye-McCurdy, T., Binkley, C., Bah, A., Chen, E. C., Rice, B. L., Parent, L. J. & Musier-Forsyth, K., May 2020, In : Viruses. 12, 5, 568.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Visualizing association of the retroviral gag protein with unspliced viral RNA in the nucleus

    Maldonado, R. J. K., Rice, B., Chen, E. C., Tuffy, K. M., Chiari, E. F., Fahrbach, K. M., Hope, T. J. & Parent, L. J., Mar 1 2020, In : mBio. 11, 2, e00524-20.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 1 Scopus citations

    A trip down memory lane with Retrovirology

    Benkirane, M., Berkhout, B., Borrow, P., Fassati, A., Fujii, M., Garcia-Martinez, J. V., Margolis, D., Nijhuis, M., Parent, L., Strebel, K., Venter, F., Kirchhoff, F., Lever, A., Ross, S. & Mak, J., Aug 21 2019, In : Retrovirology. 16, 1, 22.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Open Access


    Parent, L., Aug 17 2018, Retrovirus-Cell Interactions. Parent, L. J. (ed.). 1 ed. Elsevier, p. xxix-xxxv

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

    Open Access