Master thesis pre-clinical R&D – Internship [Italy] – 2019
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a ubiquitous, highly specific herpes virus, infecting as many as 75% of adults. It establishes latent infection applying numerous immune evasion strategies. Despite being normally relatively benign, HCMV infections can induce severe disease in immunocompromised patients, and in fetuses in the case of primary maternal infection. HCMV infects a wide spectrum of cell types using different sets of surface molecules. This heterogeneity suggests a very complex mechanism of recognition between the viral particle and the host cell. To obtain deeper insights of the mechanisms involved in HCMV infection, tropism, immune evasion and latency, Master students and Ph.Ds. in GSK have generated data on selected viral proteins identified by HCMV genome analysis and found to be present on the virion envelope. In particular, UL116 and the members of the Fc binding protein family RL13, RL11 and UL119, have received incomplete characterization to be finalized.
Recombinant viruses carrying tagged proteins or deletion mutants are already available in our laboratory. UL116 seems to be involved in HCMV infection to human epithelial cells, thus infection kinetics and characterization of complexes formation in this cell type will be performed. We expected to dissect the role of UL116 in dictating cell tropism that could be either direct, true interaction with a host factor, or indirect by determining the choice of structural proteins to be present on the virion.
The presence of Fc binding proteins on the herpesviruses viral envelope remains not completely understood. As preliminary data, we observed that human IgG can be incorporated on virions likely true one or more of these proteins. Our goal is to identify which species is/are responsible of this circumstance and the biological meaning of such phenomenon.
Competencies the intern will develop thanks to the internship experience
Technically speaking, during the period of internship, the student will develop both basic practice of biochemical and molecular biology techniques (cell lysates, RNA preparation, sequencing etc.) and more focused methodology in virology and confocal microscopy. Most of all, he/she will be part of a more general project focused on vaccine targets discovery and will be able to understand the approach necessary to reach this objective.
Master student of the following faculties: Biology, Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technologies, Chemical Sciences, Biotechnology.
see basic qualification
GSK is deeply committed to professional and personal development offering employment opportunities across a diverse collection of businesses and geographies. So you'll flourish in an inspiring environment where personal growth plays a vital part in the changing face of the business. Most of all, you'll enjoy the sense of purpose that comes from leading change in an industry that touches millions every day.
• Possibility of developing within the role and company's structure
• Career in one of the leading global healthcare companies
• Supportive & friendly working environment
• Corporate culture based on our values: patient focus, integrity, respect and transparency
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