Viruses are small parasites that infect living cells to multiply their genomes and to produce new virus particles. Understanding of viral replication and gene expression is of paramount importance to determine how viruses cause disease and for development of antiviral drugs.
Research efforts in the group:
Human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) is a sexually transmitted virus. The infection is normally asymptomatic and is cleared within a year or two. In rare cases, the HPV16 infection persists and may cause lesions that progress to cancer, primarily cervical cancer in women. To understand how HPV16 can persist in its host, we are investigating how HPV16 regulates the expression of its genes, in particular expression of the highly immunogenic late L1 and L2 proteins.
Influenza virus avoids immunity in the human population dues to its high variability. We are investigating if changes in the viral RNA genome affect the function of the viral mRNAs.