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Michael Summers probes retroviruses to understand their structure and function. Summers and his team use a variety of nuclear magnetic resonance and biophysical methods to discern retroviral assembly, maturation, and the process through which viruses selectively package their RNA genome. Their research primarily focuses on the proteins and RNA genome of HIV, as well as some nonhuman pathogenic retroviruses that serve as vectors for human gene therapies and vehicles for treatment of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID).