BECAS FULBRIGHT / FUNDACIÓN BUNGE Y BORN / FUNDACIÓN WILLIAMS
Study of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of the Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus entry to host cells
Fernando Uriel Merwaiss
University of California, Irvine
My PhD project is focused on the study of the entry of bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), which causes one of the most important diseases of cattle worldwide. BVDV has been used as a model system for studying hepatitis C virus, a relevant human pathogen for which there is no effective vaccine. In order to gain insight into the BVDV infection process at the molecular level we aimed to study entry of single virus particles. To this end I have developed a system for site-specific labeling of BVDV in vivo that allows for visualization of individual particles under the fluorescence microscope. My goal is to follow single particles in live cells using cutting-edge techniques in 3D particle tracking. A mechanistic understanding of the entry process will contribute to the development of effective antiviral strategies. My visit to Dr. Gratton laboratory will provide me with new expertise in confocal microscopy and access to state-of-the-art equipment.