Our Lab's Vision

 

As our world grows more interconnected and humans impinge on the few remaining wild habitats, infections caused by the accidental transmission of viruses from their natural animal hosts to humans are increasingly of concern. The unprecedented 2013–2015 Ebola virus disease epidemic in western Africa provides a particularly apt example. Few specific antiviral treatments are available for Ebola and other emerging agents, and our ability to develop them is challenged by a poor understanding of exactly how viruses co-opt our own cells at the molecular level.

 
 Molecular details of EBOLA virus glycoprotein processing in endosomes and it's engagement with domain C of NPC1, the entry receptor

Molecular details of EBOLA virus glycoprotein processing in endosomes and it's engagement with domain C of NPC1, the entry receptor

 

The Chandran Lab at Einstein strives to understand this molecular warfare between virus and cell, and to apply what we learn to the development of antiviral treatments. Filoviruses, such as Ebola virus and Marburg virus, and hantaviruses, such as Sin Nombre virus and Hantaan virus, are major topics of study in our group.

Working collaboratively with our partners on three continents, we have helped uncover critical host factors required for cell invasion by filoviruses and hantaviruses, including the long-sought Ebola receptor, Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1). One of our recent interests is to decipher how genetic variation in host-encoded factors—in NPC1, for example—can influence the susceptibility of humans and animals to viral infection and the likelihood of animal-to-human 'host-jumping' events.

We and our partners in academia, industry, and government are also intensively engaged in translational studies to develop small molecule- and antibody-based therapeutics that leverage the basic knowledge on viral invasion we have garnered.

 
 

Learn more by clicking on Research and Publications, watch videos explaining our science, meet the people behind the data, and check out News & Media for recent developments. And of course, feel free to drop us a line or drop on by (but note that we might put you to work!).

 
~ Kartik. 
 

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"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."  ~ Carl Sagan