Investigation of interactions between the SARS-CoV-2 RNA polymerase and host cells

Year of award: 2023


  • Dr Kuang-Yu Chen

    University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Project summary

SARS-CoV-2 is a novel human pathogen that emerged in late 2019 and caused a global pandemic. Despite the implementation of vaccinations and drugs to control the disease, SARS-CoV-2 continues to evolve and adapt to antiviral measures. Therefore, new approaches are needed to control the viral infection. The viral RNA polymerase complex is a conserved enzyme responsible for viral genome transcription and replication, making it an attractive target for drug development. The replication of the viral genome requires several cellular processes, and it is crucial to identify the host factors that directly participate in viral replication and to characterise their roles in regulating viral polymerase functions. My research will build upon previous studies on virus-host interactions and use state-of-the-art techniques to further analyse polymerase-host interactions. This project aims to gain mechanistic insight into SARS-CoV-2 genome replication, transcription and cellular machinery involved in viral replication. By gaining insights into the molecular and cellular biology of SARS-CoV-2, we hope to improve our understanding of host adaptation of SARS-CoV-2 and improve the antiviral preventive and therapeutic approaches. Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, viral RNA polymerase, replication, transcription, virus-host interactions