Saptaswa Sen, Ph.D.

Erik Holmstrom Lab
Primary office:
3007 Haworth Hall


Summary

Hometown:  Calcutta (Kolkata), India

Education

Ph.D., Biochemistry and Biophysics - University of Leiden, Netherlands (2016)

Current Research: Hepatitis C viral (HCV) particle assembly, particularly its nucleocapsid formation during its life cycle, is driven by the interactions between the genomic RNA and the multifunctional core protein. Preventing these interactions represents a promising approach to inhibit HCV assembly. However, this approach has not been thoroughly explored because the structure-function relationship associated with the assembly process is not well understood. Conventional and established experimental techniques which are commonly utilized to tackle this challenge, are complicated by the heterogeneous biological samples and asynchronous molecular behaviors. This heterogeneity can be avoided by studying single molecules in-vitro or in-vivo. My research focuses on studying these RNA-protein interactions by single molecule fluorescence techniques (e.g. Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer-FRET) in conjunction with traditional ensemble techniques. This research aims to uncover molecular details associated hepatitis C virus assembly pathway, which will be critical for the development of anti-viral agents designed to intervene such events in the viral life cycle to eliminate the virus.


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