Poxvirus immune evasion strategies


  • Prof Geoffrey Smith

    University of Cambridge

Project summary

Geoffrey’s laboratory studies the mechanisms by which vaccinia virus (VACV), the live vaccine that was used to eradicate smallpox, inhibits innate immunity and thereby affects virus virulence and immunogenicity. VACV is a DNA virus that replicates in the cytoplasm and encodes scores of proteins to suppress innate immunity. The Wellcome Trust has supported this lab with a PRF for the last 14 years. Current work includes structural and functional studies of a family of small intracellular VACV proteins with structural similarity to Bcl-2 proteins and which inhibit activation of intracellular signalling pathways that lead to activation of pro-inflammatory transcription factors.