CRISPR genome wide screens & viral replication

Use CRISPR/Cas9 genome wide screens to identify viral host dependency factors and novel innate immune genes that control viral replication.

CRISPR/Cas9 technology is a powerful molecular tool to target to a specific gene for deletion and has revolutionised our ability to genetically manipulate cells.

Our laboratory has used a CRISPR/Cas9 genome wide screen in which guide-RNAs (approximately 122,000 delivered by lentiviral transduction) representing the complete human genome are introduced into cultured cells to selectively knock out cellular genes.

Using this technology followed by viral infection (ZIKV) we have identified novel essential host factors for viral replication such as the cellular protein RACK1. Interestingly, RACK1 is important for the replication of all Flaviviridae but not Ebola, MERS or DNA viruses suggesting selectivity in its action.

We are currently applying CRISPR/Cas9 genome wide screens to other viruses such as HCV and to identify novel genes that control virus replication in response to interferon stimulation.

Associate Professor Michael Beard

Supervisors

Associate Professor Michael Beard

Co-supervisor: Dr Nicholas Eyre

Research area: Viral pathogenesis, Research Centre for Infectious Diseases

Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Molecular and Biomedical Science

Tagged in Honours projects - Molecular and biomedical science, Honours projects - Michael Beard, Honours projects - Nicholas Eyre, Honours projects - Molecular and biomedical science: Microbiology and immunology