UCMR Distinguished Guest Seminar: Frank van Kuppeweld
Within the framework of the UCMR Distinguished Guest Seminar Series, Professor Frank van Kuppeveld gives a lecture 22 September on picornavirus replication and virus-host interactions.
Text: Ingrid Söderbergh
Frank van Kuppeveld Virology Section, Division of Infectious Diseases & Immunology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Time: Friday 22 September 15:15-16:15 Venue: Carl Kempe salen, KBC
Illuminating picornavirus replication and virus-host interactions
Frank van Kuppeveld, Virology Section, Division of Infectious Diseases & Immunology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Although picornaviruses have been studied extensively, little is known about the processes that occur during the first several hours of infection because of a lack of sensitive assays. We developed a single-molecule imaging assay, virus infection real-time imaging (VIRIM), to study translation and replication of individual picornaviruses in live cells. VIRIM uncovered a striking heterogeneity in replication dynamics between cells and revealed extensive coordination between translation and replication of single viral RNAs.
Furthermore, we identified the replication step of the incoming viral RNA as a major bottleneck of successful infection and identify host genes that are responsible for inhibition of early virus replication. VIRIM is a powerful tool to study virus replication and virus-host interactions.
About Frank van Kuppeveld
Frank van Kuppeveld, PhD, earned his doctoral degree in molecular virology at the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands. There, he established his own research group, mainly focusing on the molecular aspects of picornavirus replication. His lab has made contributions in the field of picornavirus structure, uptake, genome release, and viral RNA replication, with special attention on the role of picornavirus nonstructural proteins and (hijacked) host factors in the formation of viral replication organelles and the process of viral RNA synthesis that takes place in these specialized replication sites. The obtained knowledge is used to identify and develop broad-range inhibitors of picornavirus replication. Furthermore, his lab studies how intracellular RNA sensors discriminate viral RNA from host cell RNA and how they signal to trigger interferon and stress responses, as well as how viruses manipulate signaling to suppress these antiviral responses.
In 2012, he moved with his research group to Utrecht University to become Professor of Molecular Virology and Head of the Virology Division (which harbors also research groups focusing on Influenza and Coronaviruses). His research is supported by grants from the Netherlands Research Council Research (including prestigious personal VIDI and VICI grants) and the European Union (ERC Advanced Grant in 2022). He was coordinator of European Training Networks “EUVIRNA” (2011-2015) and “ANTIVIRALS” (2015-2019), both of which focuses on antiviral drug development.