Influenza virus replication at the molecular level
Influenza viruses are important human and animal pathogens. They cause widespread clinical and veterinary disease and have a considerable economic impact. Our laboratory focuses on the fundamental molecular mechanisms of influenza virus replication, aiming to understand the molecular determinants of host range and virulence of influenza viruses. By gaining further insights into the molecular details of influenza virus replication we hope to facilitate the development of novel strategies to combat influenza.
Influenza A viruses contain a genome consisting of eight single stranded negative-sense RNA segments assembled into ribonucleoprotein complexes with an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and multiple copies of nucleoprotein. We address questions ranging from how the influenza virus RNA polymerase transcribes and replicates the viral RNA genome in the nucleus of the infected cell to how the RNA genome is exported from the nucleus and assembles into infectious progeny virus particles. We are also interested in the role of host factors in viral replication as well as in understanding the effects of virus infection on the host cell, the molecular mechanisms of innate immune sensing and host cell responses to viral infection.
We collaborate with structural biologists, physicists, chemists and immunologists, using an interdisciplinary approach, including molecular and cell biology, structural biology (x-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy), single molecule and super-resolution microscopy, proteomics and virology.
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