Catherine Kendall

Analysis and inhibition of chikungunya virus replication

Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a mosquito-transmitted alphavirus that re-emerged as an epidemic in 2005 around the Indian Ocean, before spreading across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. It continues to spread across regions harbouring its mosquito vector, which includes much of North America and Western Europe. CHIKV causes acute ‘Dengue like’ symptoms and chronic debilitating musculoskeletal pain. There is no vaccine or antiviral therapy. This project will use molecular virology and structural biology to investigate how RNA structures in the CHIKV genome control virus replication and design novel inhibitors to examine their potential as antiviral drug targets.