Trushar R Patel

Canada Research Chair in RNA and Protein Biophysics

Tier 2 - 2017-01-11
Renewed: 2022-11-01
University of Lethbridge
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Research involves

Studying how host proteins and viral RNAs interact.

Research relevance

This research will contribute to the development of new treatments for viruses.

Research summary

To replicate and spread, a virus requires a host—and although the human immune system has several layers of defence mechanisms, viruses can still hijack the body’s host cell machinery. (A host cell is a living cell in which a virus multiplies.) A variety of host proteins recognize viral RNA molecules as a part of an innate immune system. But sometimes, viral RNA molecules succeed in using host proteins to help themselves replicate and propagate.

Dr. Trushar Patel, Canada Research Chair in RNA and Protein Biophysics, is exploring the interactions that occur between viral nucleic acids and host proteins during viral infections. He and his research team are using sophisticated structural-biophysical techniques to develop targeted therapies for a range of viral infections. They are focusing on both viral nucleic acids and human proteins because targeting only viral ones could allow the virus to mutate and adapt in order to resist treatment.