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ESCential

Published 2018-01-17
Biomedical research has facilitated the identification and characterisation of gene products in host cells that have a role in microbial diseases. The identification and characterisation of cellular genes and pathways exploited by pathogens is essential to elucidate the process by which the microbes cause disease. Recently, colleagues developed haploid embryonic stem (ES) cells, which give the possibility of combining the power of a haploid genome with the pluripotency of embryonic stem cells to study fundamental biological processes at genomic scale. ES cells can be efficiently mutated and used as a novel genome-wide screening system for different purposes. This system has many advantages over RNAi screening such as complete knockout, stable silencing, etc. In this project we will focus to determine the role of genes responsible for resistance against CCHFV, Marburg/Ebola and Zika Virus.  We are also investigating how the CCHFV interact with the natural host cells, tick cells, as CCHFV is a tick-borne disease. This is a collaboration between us and Prof. Friedemann Weber (Germany) and Prof. Josef Penninger (Austria), Prof. Johan Neyts (Belgium), Dr. Lesley Sakyi (Pirbright Institute, UK)