ICGEB - Molecular Virology Lab
The main focus of the laboratory is the molecular and cell biology of virus-host interactions. The Group has a long-standing interest in HIV-1 transcriptional and post-transcriptional nuclear regulation and has recently become interested also in Flaviviruses such as tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) and hepatitits C virus (HCV). To this end, the lab has developed a platform of tools for the study of the virus-host crosstalk: from single protein-protein interactions to the 3D dynamics of host and viral components. Great effort has been devoted to the development of techniques that enable the study of virus-host interactions at high resolution and in living cells. During the past few years, the lab, in addition to photobleaching techniques, has developed a unique method to visualize viral RNAs in real time in living cells. This experimental setting has been exploited to measure HIV-1 RNA biogenesis and TBEV RNA trafficking in the cytoplasm for the first time. We are also interested in implementing viral diagnostics for developing countries by technically supporting local scientists and by developing point-of-care portable devices in collaboration with industrial partners. Finally, chemical compounds synthetized in collaborating laboratories are tested for antiviral activity.