My group's research interests encompass the molecular biology and immunopathology of medically important viral infections. Currently these involve studies of two different viruses; dengue virus, a serious mosquito-borne disease in many tropical countries, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), a major cause of hospitalization of children with respiratory infections.
The primary goals of our research are the development of vaccine and anti-viral strategies for the control of infections as well as a clearer understanding of the pathogenesis of severe disease.
Current projects in my laboratory include:
- Structural biology based studies on the dengue virus proteins, NS3 (the viral protease) and E (a virion surface protein involved in cell binding and entry) and the RSV protein F (the viral fusion protein) as targets for antiviral drug design
- Sub-unit and DNA based vaccines for the dengue viruses
- Molecular pathogenesis of severe dengue disease (in particular, the consequences of dengue virus infection of host macrophages and the induction of mediators of vascular leak)
- Design and delivery of ribozymes (catalytic RNAs) to the respiratory tract as an antiviral strategy for RSV infections
These projects involve the application of a range of techniques covering a number of disciplines including molecular biology, immunology, biotechnology, molecular cell biology, protein biochemistry and structural biology.