Richard J. Sugrue on Multidisciplinary approaches to identify essential virus and host cell interactions, for pleasure (and for profit?)

Richard J. Sugrue obtained a 1st class hon. degree in microbiology from University of London and a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Kent working with Robert Freedman on protein folding. This was followed by research positions in the Virology Division at the Medical Research Councils (MRC) National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and the crystallography dept at Birkbeck College (University of London). At NIMR he played a lead role in the pioneering work in Alan Hay's group that elucidated the specific antivirus activity of the drug amantadine on influenza virus vis a vis the M2 ion channel. While at Birkbeck college he was involved in the structural analysis of retroviral proteinases. He first came to Singapore to work at IMCB where he was involved in research focused on the functional analysis of the dengue virus replication complex and virus glycoproteins. In 1998 returned to the UK to start a group working on human Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) at the prestigious MRC Virology Unit in Glasgow. In 2005 he returned to Singapore to take up an academic appointment in the School of Biological Sciences at Nanyang Technological University, where he is currently the Head of Division of Molecular and Cell biology. Current active research interests include pathogen-host interactions in influenza, RSV and HMPV.

At BioPharam Asia, Richard would be presenting on Multidisciplinary approaches to identify essential virus and host cell interactions, for pleasure (and for profit?) at NTU-SBS Symposium at 3.30pm.

In general, antivirus drugs represent a cost effective and efficient counter measure against RNA viruses. Although most current strategies develop drugs against specific virus proteins, it is becoming clear that drug resistance will rapidly become a problem, due to the relatively high mutation rates in most RNA virus populations. An alternative strategy will be the identification of key cellular enzymes and metabolic pathways that are utilised by viruses during the virus replication process. Human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the major cause of severe lower respiratory tract disease in young children, the elderly and immunocompromised adults. RSV is responsible for approximately 64 million infections and 160,000 deaths each year (WHO). It is the most important cause of lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) in young children and neonates. Prior exposure to RSV does not give complete protective immunity and re-infection occurs throughout life. Although HRSV infection is a major health concern in developed countries, it is in particular a significant cause of LRTI-associated death in young children in developing countries. This current situation is worsened by the lack of an available vaccine and limited specific antiviral drugs.We have used a variety of different experimental strategies to examine and identify interactions between RSV and essential cellular host factors. In this presentation we will demonstrate how we use this multi-disciplinary approach to identify essential interactions during RSV maturation.

Join us at NTU's SBS Symposium! 8 professors will be coming together to share their latest developments in the biopharmaceutical arena at this symposium co-located at BioPharma Asia Convention. Pre-register to attend BioPharma Asia Convention today!

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