Graham Simmons, PhD
I am interested in new and emerging infections, particularly those that may threaten blood safety. My laboratory currently works on a number of viruses, including SARS-CoV, Chikungunya, Hepatitis B and C and the newly identified rhabdovirus, Bas-Congo virus, with a focus on viral entry and inhibition. We have performed a detailed molecular analysis of the entry of SARS-CoV and identified unique steps during entry that may be novel targets for antiviral therapies. We have developed new tools and assays for studying alphavirus virus entry and are adapting these to test novel antigens for Chikungunya virus vaccine production. We are also isolating and characterizing human neutralizing monoclonal antibodies for Chikungunya and HCV. Furthermore, we plan to characterize the B cell immune response to HCV and HBV, particularly following acute infection and HBV vaccine breakthrough infection. Finally, we are investigating the seroprevelance of Bas-Congo virus in Africa and performing basic analysis of this new virus, for example hunting the cellular receptor used for viral entry.
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