Viral infection and host immunityGroup Leader Page
Viruses are obligate intracellular parasites that subvert cellular machinery to promote their own replication. Host cells have a dazzling array of antiviral defences to try and prevent this subversion. The result is a continuing evolutionary arms race where successful strategies provide a selective advantage. In our lab, we seek to understand these mechanisms of subversion and defence and how and why they evolve.
We study how viruses, including adenovirus, influenza, HIV and SARS-CoV-2, interact with cellular co-factors to promote their replication. For instance, we are currently investigating how HIV builds a capsid that is strong enough to protect its genome from cytoplasmic sensors for hours but opens in minutes when it reaches the nucleus. We also examine infection from the host perspective, to determine how immune sensing and antiviral proteins detect viral molecules and inhibit or disable them. A current focus of this work is exploring how the ubiquitin-proteasome system targets viruses and viral proteins for degradation.
We are looking for a talented PhD student to join our team and help provide an answer to these questions. You will have an interest in virology and cell biology and a desire to unravel how things work at a molecular and cellular level. We offer a range of projects that utilise a wide-variety of techniques, from structural/biophysical approaches to cellular and animal models of infection.
Mallery DL, Kleinpeter AB, Renner N, Faysal KMR, Novikova M, Kiss L, Wilson MSC, Ahsan B, Ke Z, Briggs JAG, Saiardi A, Böcking T, Freed EO, James LC. (2021)
A stable immature lattice packages IP6 for HIV capsid maturation.
Science Advances 10;7(11):eabe4716. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abe4716.
Zeng J, Santos AF, Mukadam AS, Osswald M, Jacques DA, Dickson CF, McLaughlin SH, Johnson CM, Kiss L, Luptak J, Renner N, Vaysburd M, McEwan WA, Morais-de-Sá E, Clift D, James LC. (2021)
Target-induced clustering activates Trim-Away of pathogens and proteins.
Nat Struct Mol Biol. 28(3):278-289. doi: 10.1038/s41594-021-00560-2.
Caddy SL, Vaysburd M, Papa G, Wing M, O’Connell K, Stoycheva D, Foss S, Andersen JT, Oxenius A, James LC. (2020)
Viral nucleoprotein antibodies activate TRIM21 and induce T cell immunity.
EMBO J doi.org/10.15252/embj.2020106228