Center for Host-Pathogen Interaction
The Center for Host-Pathogen Interaction is a collaboration between the laboratories of Anne Moscona, MD and Matteo Porotto, PhD. Drs. Moscona and Porotto together conduct basic research on paramyxoviruses, RNA viruses transmitted by airborne droplets that are responsible for acute respiratory illnesses prevalent in childhood. The collaboration is organized around the interdisciplinary theme of virus-host interactions and draws upon strategies and methods from molecular biology, cell biology, biophysics, immunology, computational biology, structural biology, and virology. The Moscona-Porotto team focuses on the mechanisms by which viruses enter host cells during the initial stage of infection, and has identified the critical role of the viral-receptor binding protein in activating the viral fusion process. Recognition of the pivotal role of fusion activation has led to promising targets for preventing viral entry. These antiviral approaches have provided valuable tools for furthering the understanding of basic mechanisms of infection. The team's findings to infection prevention may apply to measles, as well as parainfluenza viruses, influenza viruses, and other emerging lethal viruses such as the Ebola and SARS-COV2.