Micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA1 covid variant, 2-3 days post infection. Credit: Kirby Institute/Stuart Turville

Viral Pathogenesis and Vector Laboratory

Using novel methods in molecular virology, our team studies the pathogenesis of viral infections spanning the basic science of viruses within the laboratory through to understanding the biology of viruses in the real world and in the face of the human immune response. The viruses we study range from blood-borne pathogens such as HIV through to emerging pathogens like Ebola and SARS-CoV-2.

Whilst the study of viruses can lead to how we can better control them, we can also learn a lot from them in other areas. As viruses are masters of gene delivery, we can ‘bio-prospect” elements of them and then safely incorporate them into what are referred to as “vectors” for delivery of genes or elements that may edit our genes. The latter is not only important in the repair of defective genes but can also be harnessed to reprogram our immune system to fight cancer.