Viral infection mechanisms

All enveloped viruses use their spike complex to recognize their host receptor and subsequently, to enter the cell. The viral infection process consists of multiple evolutionarily-optimized steps, in which the spike undergoes major conformational changes, before the viral genome can be delivered. Understanding the interaction between the spike complex and the host cell receptor can facilitate the design of novel therapeutics to prevent viral infection. In our lab, we investigate the structures of spike complexes of pathogenic viruses through cutting-edge technologies such as cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM), electron tomography, and crystallography.