Respiratory and Emerging Viruses group
We are involved in a wide range of research, which includes:
Viruses are the main focus of the laboratory. We work primarily with Ebola virus and human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV), a major pediatric infection and influenza A virus (IAV). We also focus on animal diseases such as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus and infectious bronchitis virus.
- High throughput approaches:
Over the past several years we have invested a lot of effort in developing quantitative proteomics in the study of virus/host cell interactions. This includes not only looking at changes in the cellular proteome that occur during infection but also finding out what cellular proteins bind to viral proteins and why. Most of our approach has centered on SILAC based LC-MS/MS but is now moving to implementing label free approaches and combining this with deep sequencing.
Molecular biology is really great but being able to see things in real time is so much better. We use a lot of bioimaging in the laboratory, from looking at the spread of fluorescently labeled virus and replication systems in real time to the ultra-detailed 3D analysis of cells and their organelles – all under invasion by viruses.
Here we use things like sub-cellular fractionation and biophysics to study molecular interactions. These approaches help back up and validate a lot of our data.
- Molecular cell biology:
Examples include RNAi, small molecule inhibitors, transfection, cloning, making new viruses.
The high throughput approaches generate lists of thousands of molecules whose abundance may change during infection. Both increases, decreases and no changes. All of which can be interesting. We tend to use a number of different software packages to analyze these datasets and make predictions – that can then be tested biologically.
- Translational impact:
Several aspects of our research has been used in industry. This has ranged from the development of diagnostic reagents to detect viral infection, to optimizing conditions for the production of vaccines and more recently the selection of small molecule inhibitors.