Virology and antiviral therapy
Virology is one of the main biological disciplines, the importance of which has been growing for a long time. New viruses are continuously appearing and are significant not only from a medical but also from the veterinary and agricultural point of view. Lately, we could mention epidemics of Ebola fever, diseases caused by the new Zika, SARS, or currently COVID-19. The new viruses are emerging. The changes in the behavior of classical viral pathogens are potentiated by ongoing globalization and climate change. However, research into viruses and viral infections in the Czech Republic is carried out in only a few workplaces and is therefore highly fragmented, even though the individual teams are achieving remarkable success and are visible worldwide.
The program aims to support existing virological research and direct its current problem. The same emphasis should be placed on the integration of existing virology teams to promote cooperation. Sharing of the material and the methodological and technological background of the individual staff involved is the key. Moreover, we want to increase the possibilities of effective transfer of acquired knowledge into practice.
The subject of the program research will be the study of viruses (human, animal, and plant) and viral infections from the point of view of structural and molecular virology, with special regard to the mechanisms of replication of host cell viral particles. The program will focus on the study of the pathogenesis of viral infections, including the immune and immunopathological response of the host using animal models. The program will also include the search for new approaches to the prevention and treatment of viral diseases based on the most modern approaches in vaccinology and medicinal chemistry. Attention will be paid to further developments of new biochip technologies for the rapid diagnosis of viral infections. In this regard, the broad application potential of the program in the development and testing of new diagnostic approaches, vaccines, immunotherapeutics, and antivirals can be exploited.
The coordinator of the program is doc. RNDr. Daniel Růžek, Ph.D., Biology Centre of the CAS.