Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major health burden that infects 1-2% of the world population and leads to ~500,000 deaths and an estimated 1.5-2 million new infections annually.
Direct-acting antivirals effectively treat HCV infection, yet face major issues making the development of additional therapeutics and an effective vaccine critical to prevent HCV spread.
Our research objectives are:
To study the immune recognition neutralization of HCV by the adaptive immune system.
To explore the interactions between the HCV envelope proteins and the host cells receptors.
Structural elucidation of the entry mechanism of HCV and HCV-related hepaciviruses.
To achieve these objectives, we utilize structural (X-ray crystallography), biochemical and functional tools. A deep understanding of the interaction between HCV and the host cells and will be use to facilitate structural-based design of novel therapeutics and subunit vaccine immunogens for better controlling of HCV spread.