Institute of Immunity and Transplantation


Joe Grove

Sir Henry Dale Fellow

Research area

Viral immune evasion.

Research programme

Research summary

Viruses are parasites that hijack the biological machinery inside host cells and use it to replicate; this can kill cells and cause disease. Virus particles transmit infection from one cell to another; they specifically target and enter host cells to deliver their viral genomes to the cell interior and initiate infection. Antibodies are produced by the immune system to control and prevent such viral infections. Antibodies bind to the surface of virus particles and prevent them from entering host cells. Viruses exhibit a range of countermeasures that allow them to achieve virus entry despite the antibody response.

Viruses that establish persistent life-long infections, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV), are particularly good at evading immune responses. This is why it is especially difficult to design effective vaccines against these viruses. We are using HCV and HIV as model systems to understand the molecular mechanisms of antibody evasion during virus entry. We use a multidisciplinary approach, encompassing basic virology, structural biology, computational modelling and advanced microscopy. Through our work, we aim to gain a fundamental understanding of how viruses establish and maintain infection; this knowledge can be used to guide the design of novel therapies and vaccines.


Selected publications
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