Revealing the hidden roles of ssRNA genomes regulating viral infectivity


  • Prof Peter Stockley

    University of Leeds, United Kingdom

  • Prof Reidun Twarock

    University of York, United Kingdom

Project summary

The Covid pandemic highlights the limited options we have to control and eliminate viral infections. Natural immunity and vaccination remain our most effective tools in protecting us from viral diseases. Mostly lacking are drugs that are directed against essential viral functions, and that can therefore be used to inhibit viral infections in already infected individuals. Our work is directed at identifying such essential features of the viral lifecycle in a subset of pathogens that include the common cold, poliovirus and the coronaviruses. We focus on molecular characteristics that are shared by different strain variants, so that anti-viral therapy directed against these features also provides a solution for newly emerging strain variants, such as the variants of concern in coronaviruses. This will enable us to be prepared for related pandemic viruses and respond more rapidly to any such emerging viral threats.