Mode of action of novel RNA virus inhibitors

EUVIRNA ESR-15

Project description
Janssen Infectious Diseases-Diagnostics BVBA (http://www.janssenrnd.com/our-innovation/area-of-focus/infectious-diseas...) is dedicated to providing innovative virology therapeutics that help healthcare professionals address serious unmet needs in people living with HIV, HCV and other infectious diseases. Janssen is currently screening for small molecule inhibitors of RNA virus replication. Potential experiments will reveal whether a particular compound interacts with the initial phase of infection (binding, fusion, entry), intracellular replication, virus maturation or release, with our focus being on identifying compounds that impact on intracellular replication. Genotyping and phenotyping of drug-resistant variants allows identification of viral protein targets. The interaction between inhibitor and target will be studied by expressing wt and mutant target proteins and performing resistance selection experiments. This will allow rational design of second generation analogues with increased inhibitory effect. The candidate will be trained in the biological aspects of drug discovery and clinical virology, opening up the opportunity to work in a biotech or pharmaceutical setting in the future.

Host institute
The researcher will be located at Janssen Infectious Diseases-Diagnostics (supervisor: Dr. Greg Fanning). Janssen Infectious Diseases-Diagnostics is located in Beerse (Belgium) which is 40 km from Antwerp. The researcher will also interact closely with the laboratory of Virology & Experimental Chemotherapy, Rega Institute, KULeuven. Prof.Dr. J. Neyts (Rega Institute) will be the promoter of the thesis.

Position filled