Miguel Aracena Velazquez

Investigating the structural and mechanistic basis for translation initiation in Enterovirus Type I IRESs

About me

I am originally from Bolivia and first moved to the UK in order to study at the University of Oxford where I obtained my MBiochem through completion of an HIV-1 research project in the Castello lab. After graduating, I worked as a research scientist at Oxford Nanopore Technologies which helped me develop my analytical and computational skills. I am excited now to return to virology with my project at the University of York in the Hill Lab. My project will allow me to delve into the field of structural biology and develop expertise in the use of Cryo-EM for structure determination. 


My Project


Enteroviruses are a widespread and diverse set of human and animal pathogens which are estimated to cause over 1 billion infections annually. Upon infection, enteroviruses are able to recruit ribosomal machinery to produce viral proteins through the use of an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) present at the 5’ end of its genome. Despite its importance in the viral life cycle, the mechanistic basis for recruitment of the ribosome as well as other trans-acting protein factors (ITAFs) to Type I enteroviruses IRESs remains poorly understood. My project aims to understand the mechanistic basis for translation initiation on enterovirus IRESs through the generation of high resolution structures by Cryo-EM.