ILSC Plenary: The Molecular Tool-kit of Hemorrhagic Fever Viruses

Erica Saphire

Presented by: Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D., The Scripps Research Institute
Presented Live: November 4, 2015 at the 24th International Light Scattering Colloquium, Santa Barbara, CA

Viruses can be under tremendous pressure for economy of genomic information. As a result, evolution has compelled viral proteins to offer the most functional “bang” for the polypeptide “buck.” The ability of viruses to maximize functionality from a limited genome, and to evolve their functionalities in real time offers us fundamental insights into the capabilities and plasticity of proteins in general.

By employing a variety of structural and biophysical methods, we can illuminate this compact, but highly versatile tool-kit and gain fundamental insights into the biology of entry, immune evasion, replication and assembly. We use this information to decipher the collaborative roles of these proteins in pathogenesis and devise concrete strategies for medical defense.