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Determining the role of molecular co-chaperones in virus infection: a novel antiviral approach

Project Description

Viruses are associated with approximately 10-15% of human cancers, resulting in about 2 million new cases every year in the world. Research in the Whitehouse laboratory determines how viruses cause cancer and in collaboration with the Foster laboratory develops novel antiviral strategies to prevent infection and tumourigenesis. This project focusses on molecular chaperone pathways which are essential for protein homeostasis, particularly in cancers. For oncogenic viruses, molecular chaperones function as broad host factors required for viral protein folding and stability. Therefore viral proteins are exquisitely sensitive to perturbations in chaperone-related pathways, presenting a novel antiviral target. We have exciting data showing that the molecular co-chaperone, STIP1, is essential for the replication of the oncogenic virus, KSHV. This project will determine the role of molecular chaperones in KSHV biology and determine if inhibiting molecular co-chaperone function is a potential therapeutic approach for the treatment of this important human pathogen. This exciting multidisiplinary project will utilise cutting-edge methodology including quantitiative proteomics, cell biology and medicinal chemistry.

More information on the Whitehouse lab can be found at :

Funding Notes

White Rose BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership in Mechanistic Biology
4 year fully-funded programme of integrated research and skills training, starting Oct 2019:
• Research Council Stipend
• UK/EU Tuition Fees
• Conference allowance
• Research Costs

At least a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent. We welcome students with backgrounds in biological, chemical or physical sciences, or mathematical backgrounds with an interest in biological questions.
EU candidates require 3 years of UK residency in order to receive full studentship

Not all projects advertised will be funded; the DTP will appoint a limited number of candidates via a competitive process.

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How good is research at University of Leeds in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 60.90

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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