The overarching research goal of the Yang laboratory is to understand the mechanisms governing viral replication, with the rationale that the discoveries will expand the knowledge of both viruses and their hosts, and facilitate the development of novel strategies to combat viral and non-viral diseases. A parallel goal of Yang lab is to provide a highly supportive environment to train the next generations of scientists. The ongoing research focuses on how viruses interact with two cellular housekeeping processes: protein synthesis and metabolism using vaccinia virus as the research model. Vaccinia virus is the prototype poxvirus. Poxviruses significantly impact public health, with many presently causing morbidity and mortality in humans and many economically important animals, including deadly zoonotic pathogens (e.g., monkeypox virus). In addition, despite the eradication of smallpox, one of the most (if not the most) devastating diseases in human history, smallpox resurgence remains a serious biothreat. Poxviruses are also widely developed as veterinary and human vaccine vectors and as cancer treatment agents. Poxviruses provide numerous precious tools to understand many aspects of cell biology and dissect complex life processes, as their large DNA genomes encode hundreds of genes that engage many key nodes of cellular life. Yang's research integrates biochemical, molecular, and omics approaches. Taking advantage of their in-depth knowledge of the poxvirus replication and virus-host interactions, the Yang lab also develops vaccinia virus-based utilities and anti-virals.