Influenza A viruses (IAV) are serious threats to human health, causing a contagious respiratory disease. I study the interaction between IAV polymerase and a cellular protein Rab11a, which is needed for successful transport of the IAV genome to the cell plasma membrane, where new virions assemble.
We use cryo-3D-SIM to observe the location of fluorescently tagged IAV polymerase in the cytoplasm of infected cells expressing fluorescently tagged Rab11a. We also study how IAV remodels the cytoplasmic architecture of infected cells using cryo-soft X-ray tomography. Together these techniques will ultimately expand our knowledge of host and virus biology both at the level of cell ultrastructure and in molecular detail.
Ninety percent of people that possess a life-long herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection are completely unaware of it. The other ten percent exhibit mild or severe symptoms of viral inflammation. Our research aims to uncover the mechanisms behind virus production in human cells. We are specifically interested in how the virus remodels cellular architecture to assemble its envelope (the outer layer of the virus).
The multi-modal imaging capabilities at B24 are central to our research strategy. We use cryo-3D-SIM to observe the localization of the virus in different organelles at super resolution and we study alterations in the structure of these organelles using cryo-soft X-ray tomography. Together these techniques provide a new method to study the complicated interplay between viral and cellular machinery during virus propagation.
This PhD project is a collaboration between B24 and the Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge (Dr Stephen Graham and Dr Colin Crump).
Nina is currently completing her masters year in industry at Diamond. Her research is focused on Candida glabrata.
Candida species are common fungal inhabitants of human tissues, but as opportunistic pathogens they can cause superficial or systemic infections under certain conditions, such as when an individual is immunocompromised. Systemic infections have high mortality rates, and whilst Candida glabrata is only the 2nd most common cause of Candidiasis after Candida albicans, C. glabrata is causing an increasing number of infections which are proving difficult to treat due to resistance to commonly used antifungals.
Nina will be using the correlative imaging facilities at B24 to monitor the process by which blood cells interact with C. glabrata, with particular focus on the abnormal phagocytosis process that occurs. Nina will be studying how blood cells act to clear C. glabrata infections, using an infection model of Drosophila melanogaster haemocytes, and comparing this to their response to other fungal species.
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