Director : Paulo Tavares
Deputy Director : Arnaud Moris
It is an urgent and exciting time to study virology!
The Department of Virology at I2BC studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms of viral infection. Its teams have a strong research record in host-virus interactions and in structural virology, which form the mainstay of our research.
The viruses studied at the Department are either major pathogens (rabies virus, herpesvirus, rotavirus and human immunodeficiency virus) or excellent models for the precise dissection of the different stages of the viral cycle (bacteriophages SPP1 and T5, virus of vesicular stomatitis). The common origin of several anti-viral defense mechanisms and of viral families of prokaryotic and eukaryotic viruses adds to the strength of studying both types of viral systems in the Department.
The research themes of the groups
Teams working on host-virus interactions aim to dissect the cellular factors targeted by viral proteins and to study their interactions. They characterize the functions of the host hijacked by the virus, viral remodeling of the cellular organization and the cellular response to infection, including anti-viral immunity. These studies use genetics, biochemistry, omics and cell biology with an emphasis on advanced imaging by fluorescence and electron microscopy of the infected cell.
Research in structural virology aims to provide a molecular description of the dynamics of viral structures at various essential stages of the infectious cycle: assembly of the viral particle, fusion of viral and cell membranes, packaging and ejection of the viral genome. This research employs X-ray crystallography and structural electron cryo-microscopy that will be enriched in the near future by in situ structural biology technologies.
The research developed within the department is key for identifying new targets and implementing new therapeutic strategies against viral diseases. Work on viral detection, presentation of antigens and bioengineering of viral-type particles aim at the development of approaches for vaccinology, for vectorization and for nanoreactors.
Education in Virology
Members of the Department are very actively involved in teaching virology, cell biology, molecular biology, anti-viral immunity, infectious diseases, vaccination and computer certification (PIX). Teaching is offered at the bachelor, masters, and doctoral levels, as well as to pharmacy students and pharmacists in continuing education. The Department also hosts internships for high school, undergraduates, masters, pharmacy students and for doctoral students preparing their thesis. All of these activities bring a strong commitment to high quality training in virology at the University of Paris-Saclay.
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