I am interested in understanding the mechanism of entry and infection for JC polyomavirus (JCV). JCV is the causative agent for Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), debilitating disease resulting form lytic infection of oligodendroctyes by JCV. Currently, there is no anti-viral therapeutic available against JCV infection. Yi-ying Chou is applying live-cell imaging technologies to monitor the route of entry for JCV infection. By determining the steps that are essential for JCV internalization and infection, we hope to identify antiviral strategies to inhibit virus spread. We also utilized genome-editing tools, the CRISPR/Cas9 system to restrict JCV life cycle in culture cells. We found significant inhibition of virus replication and viral protein expression in cells recipient of Cas9 together with JCV-specific single-guide RNA delivered prior to or after JCV infection.
Scientist 1, Biogen, Cambridge, MA