I am a researcher and lecturer at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics. My research group studies how viruses reshape the cells they infect. Our main interest is the drastic rearrangements of host-cell membranes that positive-sense RNA viruses carry out within hours of entering a cell.
Positive-sense RNA viruses are a vast group of viruses that causes human diseases ranging from common cold to covid-19 and tropical fevers such as chikungunya, dengue and zika fevers. All such viruses replicate their genome by hijacking host-cell membranes and reshaping them to a kind of “viral factories” often referred to as replication complexes. We employ a mix of biophysical, biochemical and cell biological methods to understand the molecular intricacies of how replication complexes look and how they function. Much of our research is centred on imaging methods, specifically fluorescence microscopy and cryo-electron microscopy.