Research

The Greber lab

Viruses are ubiquitous, and infect all known organisms. The Greber laboratory is deeply interested in understanding how viruses interact with cells. We are fascinated by viruses, because they are unique in biology, medicine and therapy. The Greber lab explores how viruses switch between two states - ‘passive substances’, the virus particles, and ‘active substances’, the infected cells. Virus particles carry genetic information between cells and individuals, and cause disease, or can be used in curative treatments. Occasionally, viruses have worldwide impact, and can be disruptive to countries and entire societies, for example when they spill over into the human population. Viruses coevolve and adapt with their infected cells, and thereby drive genetic change in a broad range of host phenotypes.

Our approach

We explore at the molecular level how human adenovirus, rhinovirus, herpes virus and more recently coronavirus cause disease. We employ system-wide analyses of proteins, lipids and nucleic acids in cells and micro-tissue. Advanced light and electron microscopy, biochemical and cell biological tests, deep profiling and numerical models help us to assess the molecular pathways of virus entry, egress and persistence in human and animal cells. Our studies contribute to a better understanding of how viruses break down the defense barriers of the host. Such studies suggest new ways for anti-viral treatments, and a more effective use of viruses in therapies.

Interested?

If you wish to learn more about the ongoing projects in the Greber laboratory, please inquire with the group leader: