New interdisciplinary structural biology centre for virus research and technology platforms
EMBL, CNRS and the University Joseph Fourier in Grenoble establish Unit for Virus and Host Cell Interactions (Unité Mixte Internationale)
On June 26 2009 the joint international Unit for Virus and Host Cell Interactions (Unité Mixte Internationale) was formally established in Grenoble. The unit is run jointly by CNRS, the Grenoble outstation of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the Grenoble University Joseph Fourier. The aim of the unit is to foster interdisciplinary research and to develop technology platforms for structural biology.
The international unit has a unique structure in France in the areas of biology and health, which will facilitate interdisciplinary research in structural and molecular biology focusing on interactions between viruses and their hosts.
Future research topics include:
assembly and maturation of viruses
virus and host cell interactions
host and virus gene expression mechanisms
cell biology of infected cells
innate immunity and anti-pathogen drug design
A particular strength of the Unit for Virus and Host Cell Interactions lies in the fields of influenza and HIV research. In addition, it will develop methods and technology platforms for structural biology such as high-throughput protein expression and crystallisation, electron microscopy, image analysis, and X-rayand neutron diffraction instrumentation. Stephen Cusack, Head of EMBL Grenoble, will direct the unit for its first five years and deputy head will be Rob Ruigrok, professor at the University Joseph Fourier.