Structures, Architectures and Applications of Virus Capsids

ICS 174
ChEMS Seminar

Featuring Vijay S. Reddy, Ph.D.

Department of Molecular Biology

The Scripps Research Institute

Location:  ICS 174

Free and open to the public


Virus capsids are large macromolecular assemblies consists of proteins, nucleic acids and lipids. Structures of hundreds of (non-enveloped) virus capsids ranging in size, mass and complexity have been determined. We have created a virus structure database, VIPERdb ( and these structures are being analyzed in terms of their protein-protein interactions and assembly pathways. Virus capsids are being used as display platforms to generate vaccines against the pathogens and toxins of concern. Recently, we were successful in displaying 180 copies of a ricin toxin epitope on the surface of a plant virus, Tomato Bushy Stunt Virus (TBSV). This reagent, when injected into mice generates antibodies that detect ricin toxin. Developing these kinds of vaccines for other pathogens is underway.

About the Speaker:

Vijay S. Reddy earned a Ph.D. degree in molecular biophysics at the Indian Institute of Science in 1991. Reddy worked as a postdoctoral fellow with Professor Jack Johnson at Purdue University, as well as The Scripps Research Institute, studying the structural analysis of virus capsids. He is currently an associate professor in the Department of Molecular Biology, at The Scripps Research Institute. His interests include structural biology and bioinformatics of virus capsids and using the viral capsids as display platforms for generating vaccines against the pathogens of concern.

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