And Lucy Thorne Has produced a guide to Coronaviruses for all our non scientific friends and family.
We are working closely with the Jolly, Selwood and Noursadeghi labs (UCL) to address some key SARS-CoV-2 questions:
- How does the virus trigger innate and proinflammatory responses across different cell types in vitro?
- Which pathways lead to proinflammatory cytokine secretion and cell death, as observed in severe COVID-19 patients?
- How do the responses observed in vitro compare to those seen in vivo?
- How do the innate responses influence immune crosstalk and T cell functions associated with immunopathology in severe COVID-19 patients?
- Can we identify specific pathways and inhibitors to modulate innate and immune crosstalk to reduce pro-inflammatory responses and cell death?
- Which viral proteins activate or antagonise innate responses?
- Which restriction factors target SARSCoV-2 and do these contribute to innate immune signalling?
Through our long-standing collaboration with David Selwood’s medicinal chemistry lab at UCL, we are developing and testing novel direct-acting antivirals and immunomodulators, some of which we have already discovered to have broad-spectrum antiviral activity.
To do this we have had to re-tool our CL3 containment lab to manage airborne agents using MSC1s and we have risk assessed all our new work to implement safe working procedures. We are also establishing systems to study aspects of SARS-CoV-2 at CL2, such as a replicon to measure intracellular replication and SARS-CoV-2 spike protein pseudotyped-lentiviral vectors to study innate responses relating to cell entry.