New Ways to Fight Deadly Viruses
When people hear the word ‘virus,’ they typically think of the common cold. For most, the cold is nothing more than an annoyance that goes away in a few days.
However, other, more destructive viral illnesses represent a major threat. Yellow fever, measles, influenza and smallpox have been causing epidemics for thousands of years; 1918’s Spanish flu killed tens of millions of people, while collectively, measles and smallpox are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of millions. HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS, remains a global pandemic. Other dangerous viruses, like SARS, H1N1, West Nile and Ebola, emerge or re-emerge annually.
The immune system’s ability to recognize and restrict viral pathogens is crucial in fighting infectious diseases. Dr. Jeffrey Lee, Canada Research Chair in Structural Virology, is using cutting-edge techniques to discover new targets and structural models developing antiviral treatments.
Dr. Lee and his team are pursuing an innovative, interdisciplinary approach to better understand the molecular mechanisms involved in how viruses enter cells and are then attacked by immune system molecules.
Lee’s research will lead to new insights into deadly viruses and could result in the development of improved antiviral treatments with which to fight them.