Virus-Host Cell interactions
Viruses are considered entities at the border of the definition of life, and yet they are woven into every aspect of our natural world. Unfortunately, viruses are also major biological infectious agents that cause various acute and chronic infectious diseases.
Our research group is investigating, at the molecular level, the interactions between viruses and their host cells. As obligatory intracellular parasites, viruses rely on the machinery, metabolism, and energy sources of their host cells. Also, to initiate an infectious cycle that eventually results in the production of progeny virions, viruses must transfer their genetic information across the host cellular membranes. Therefore, a thorough understanding of the interactions between viruses and their host cells is critical for the understanding of infectious diseases, treatments, and prevention.
In our lab, we utilize structural biology together with molecular, biochemical, and biophysical approaches to study how viruses specifically bind and enter the host cells and how the host’s immune system recognize and neutralize the viruses, and apply this knowledge to the development of therapeutics and prophylactic vaccines for better treatment and prevention of infectious disease
Our current work is focused on the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and Bovine coronavirus (BCoV).