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Dr. Matthew Evans Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, USA1 Talk
Matthew Evans has studied how the host-pathogen interface affects viral infection for over 22 years. He received his PhD with distinction from the laboratory of Stephen Goff at Columbia University, where he studied how cellular kinases regulate the hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication, which led to a cell culture system... read moreto reproduce the entire HCV life cycle. As a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Charles Rice at Rockefeller University, he identified two critical HCV receptors. The Evans lab continues to study how the host-pathogen interface impacts viral tropism, which is fundamental to understanding what a virus needs in a host to mediate efficient infection. They use directed and deep mutagenesis techniques to identify viral sequences impact infection of a diverse range of environments. This information then serves as a launching point to evolve viruses with altered tropisms. These studies include viruses with vastly different host range breadths. HCV has a very narrow tropism as it only infects human or chimpanzee liver cells. By defining HCV infection restrictions in nonhuman/chimpanzee cells, and devising strategies to overcome these, the Evans lab hopes to establish immunocompetent animal models that will be essential for HCV vaccine studies. The Evans lab also studies flavivirus such as dengue and Zika viruses, which infect a wide range of tissue and species types, with an emphasis on defining how similarities between divergent hosts allow them to permit infection. His work has been supported by the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the American Cancer Society, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. He was a finalist in the postdoctoral category of the New York Academy of Sciences Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists and a 2014 American Society for Virology Ann Palmenberg Junior Investigator Award recipient.