The class of RNA viruses includes many (emerging) pathogens of humans and animals. As such, they are a major cause of morbidity and mortality and responsible for huge economic losses worldwide.
Coronaviruses, Influenza A viruses, and Picornaviruses
In the Virology research group, we study the following RNA viruses:
- Coronaviruses - including zoonotic threats like SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, but also important animal pathogens like PEDV and FIPV
- Influenza A viruses - for instance avian influenza A viruses which can cause bird flu, but also pose threats to humans by zoonotic infections
- Picornaviruses - for instance enteroviruses, rhinoviruses, EMCV, and FMDV
We perform research at the level of molecules, cells, tissues, and organisms, to unravel the structure of these viruses and to identify their cellular receptors, entry pathways, replication mechanisms, assembly and release pathways, immune evasion strategies, as well as the mechanism of disease caused by these viruses (i.e. pathogenesis).
Furthermore, based on our intensive studies in glycans (e.g. sialic acids) as virus receptor, we have established strong scientific and technological expertise in the field of “glycovirology”.
Our ultimate goal is to translate the knowledge that we obtain into the development of novel vaccines, antiviral therapies, and diagnostic tools.