Wallenberg Molecular Medicine Fellow: Infection biology
Viruses, membranes & microscopy
We study how viruses reshape the cells they infect. Our main interest is the drastic rearrangements of host-cell membranes that positive-sense RNA ( (+)ssRNA) viruses carry out within hours of entering a cell.
(+)ssRNA viruses are a vast group of viruses that causes human diseases ranging from common cold to Chikungunya, Dengue and Zika fevers. All such viruses replicate their genome by hijacking host-cell membranes and reshaping them to so-called replication complexes. These RNA-replicating organelles are the central intracellular manifestation of the viruses, but due to their membrane-bound intracellular localisation they have been much harder to study in molecular detail than the released virus particles.
We employ a mix of biophysical methods to uncover the structural and mechanistic basis of (+)ssRNA virus replication complexes. Much of our research is centred around imaging methods, specifically fluorescence microscopy (live cell and in vitro reconstitution) and cryo-electron microscopy (cellular tomography and single particle methods).