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President Obama selects Rutgers cell biologist Nihal Altan-Bonnet to receive prestigious award
Date:7/24/2012

itis, influenza, hepatitis, SARS, AIDS, Ebola and the common cold." (An RNA virus is a virus that has RNA, rather than DNA, as its genetic material.) "Individuals can often be infected with multiple different viruses at a given time. Hence, development of panviral therapeutics is an urgent need in combating these types of multiple viral infections."

Many of the pathogenic RNA viruses use their host cells' intracellular membranes as a platform on which to replicate themselves. With grants from the National Institutes of Health, Altan-Bonnet and her "Host-Pathogen Dynamics" lab group have been studying the molecular nature of these platforms. They have found that viruses, before they start replication, remodel the membranes into their "perfect replication" platform.

Altan-Bonnet has discovered that there is a common membrane blueprint for the perfect replication platform, shared by multiple different viruses including ones that cause the common cold, poliomyelitis and hepatitis C.

Altan-Bonnet and her colleagues have identified critical lipid molecules present within these platforms that viruses rely upon for replication. Having identified these molecules and where they are derived from in the host cell, Altan-Bonnet is now working with industry partners to design and test therapeutics targeting their virus production, that will address panviral effectiveness.

More information on Altan-Bonnet's research is available at http://runewarkbiology.rutgers.edu/department/FacultyProfiles/altan-bonn...

About PECASE

PECASE awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology, and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach. Winning scientists and engineers receive research gran
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Contact: Helen Paxton
paxton@andromeda.rutgers.edu
973-353-5262
Rutgers University
Source:Eurekalert  

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