Many viruses co-exist within humans in the absence of disease. Understanding the mechanisms by which these viruses persist—in the absence of overt disease—is the major focus of the lab. Human cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a b-herpesviruses that persists in the majority of the world’s population by establishing a latent infection. During latency viral genomes are maintained in the absence of virus production. We use CMV as a model for defining and understanding the interactions between viruses and thier hosts that allow for the entry into and exit from latent states. Understanding latency and viral persistence is critical to developing novel antiviral therapies to control persistence and its consequences in at-risk individuals, such as stem cell and organ transplant recipients.