Characterising viral antibody evasion by conformational masking

Year of award: 2015


  • Dr Joe Grove

    University College London

Project summary

For a virus to maintain infection it must spread from one cell to another. Our immune system produces antibodies that bind to viruses and prevent this. However, viruses have evolved strategies to evade antibodies, allowing them to prevail despite our immune response. Joe is investigating conformational masking – an evasion strategy that essentially cloaks viruses from recognition by antibodies. He is using basic virology, patient samples and super-resolution microscopy to study conformational masking by hepatitis C and HIV. Through an understanding of such immune countermeasures we may be able to design therapeutic or vaccine-based interventions that empower the human immune response.