A mechanistic understanding of the replication of influenza virus


  • Dr Jonathan Grimes

    University of Oxford

Project summary

Influenza infects about 3 to 5 million people every year, leading to between 250,000 to 500,000 deaths around the world. Key to viral replication is the polymerase that copies the viral genome and produces viral messenger RNA which is then used to make building blocks for new virus particles. The polymerase of influenza has to perform a number of chemical steps in order for the virus to replicate. It is increasingly clear that being highly dynamic is key to its ability to function.

We will aim to understand the structural changes that occur in the polymerase at various stages during replication and transcription.

These insights will be crucial for our understanding of the key molecular events that take place during infection and could support the development of drugs that prevent it from functioning by ‘disarming’ the virus and making it unable to spread.