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ANDREAS PUSCHNIK, PH.D.

Group Leader, Infectious Disease

Viruses are obligate intracellular pathogens that depend on host cells for their replication. Puschnik’s Infectious Disease Group systematically identifies cellular factors essential for viral infection, which can reveal molecular events in the viral life cycle, the tissue tropism of viruses, and mechanisms of pathogenesis, as well as convergent or divergent evolution of host-factor dependencies across viral families. The discovery of host factors can also unveil new targets for antiviral therapy that have potentially higher barriers to drug resistance than direct-acting antivirals, and may have broad activity across multiple viruses. Puschnik’s team uses functional genomics approaches (e.g., CRISPR KO/i/a, base editing), molecular virology and cell biology to elucidate the host factors that play a critical role in the life cycle of different RNA viruses.

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