We make comparative structural studies in order to understand molecular mechanisms involved in the various steps of the virus cycle.
The “Unité de Virologie Structurale” or “VIST Unit” study mostly viruses of global public health and/or of veterinary concern. The knowledge gained can be used for translational structure-based design of preventive or curative antiviral agents. Furthermore, these structural studies often provide crucial information about evolutionary relations between apparently unrelated viruses.
The scientific goals of our research are:
- To provide a structural basis for understanding the molecular mechanisms of membrane fusion used by enveloped viruses to enter a target cell;
- To understand the assembly of viral capsids and nucleocapsids;
- To understand the molecular mechanism used by RNA viruses to replicate its genome by both structural and functional studies of RNA-dependent RNA polymerases and associated replication enzymes;
- To combine the crystallographic data on isolated proteins with the structure of entire viruses obtained by cryo-microscopy in order to acquire insight about their function.
The “Unité de Virologie Structurale” was formally created in October 2005 at Institut Pasteur. The unit was installed since Novembre 2006 at the Darré building and in September 2012 we moved to the François Jacob building.