Einav Lab Research Interests
The goals of our lab are to better understand virus-host protein interactions, identify host proteins or pathways required by multiple viruses, and translate this knowledge into the development of novel, broad-spectrum, host-centered antiviral approaches with a high genetic barrier for resistance. We combine novel proteomic approaches, including microfluidics platforms, with molecular virology, biochemical, genomic, and pharmacological approaches to achieve these goals. We focus on hepatitis C virus (HCV), HIV, dengue virus (DENV), and a large number of other emerging viruses, such as ebola virus (EBOV), via collaborations. We utilize both in vitro and in vivo infection models of these viral pathogens.
- Mechanisms by which RNA viruses hijack intracellular membrane trafficking pathways for mediating viral entry, assembly, release, and direct cell-to-cell spread. We have identified several sorting signals within Flaviviridae proteins that are involved in mediating key steps in the viral cycle. We are currently mapping the interaction networks of these signals with human proteins, and investigating the functional relevance, regulatory mechanisms, and inhibition of these interactions. This project has led to the discovery of a repurposed broad-spectrum antiviral approach that is currently being advanced to the clinic to combat Ebola in West Africa and Dengue in South America. Additional projects involve interactions with cytoskeleton dynamics proteins, ESCRT machinery, ubiquitin pathways and more.
- Mechanisms of HCV-related cancer. Chronic HCV infection is a major cause of hepatocellular carcinoma and is also associated with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. We study virus-host interactions involved in facilitating viral persistence (a precursor to HCV-related oncogenesis).
- Molecular mechanisms underlying HCV-HIV co-infection.
- Furthering novel high-throughput proteomic technologies for screening and mapping virus-host interactomes and for screening small molecule libraries for inhibitors of protein-protein interactions.