170 million: that’s how many people around the world are infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). For many of those people, this infection will result in significant liver disease (fibrosis/cirrhosis) and cancer. HCV infection is now the leading indication for liver transplantation in many countries including Australia.
While we have made significant advances in therapies for hepatitis C there is no vaccine. At our laboratory we are seeking to build our understanding of how HCV causes disease and identify novel therapeutics. Our focus is on defining the host response to HCV infection using laboratory based models and clinical samples. We also develop models to study the HCV-host interaction in live cells.
Current research projects
- Identifying novel interferon stimulated genes involved in control of HCV replication
- Dynamics of HCV replication complexes
- The mechanism of action of antiviral drugs that target the HCV NS5A protein
- Live imaging of HCV replication
- The role of exosomes in HCV related liver disease
- Read more about our current research.
Helbig, K. J., N. S. Eyre, E. Yip, S. Narayana, K. Li, G. Fiches, E. M. McCartney, R. K. Jangra, S. M. Lemon and M. R. Beard. "The antiviral protein viperin inhibits hepatitis C virus replication via interaction with nonstructural protein 5A." Hepatology 54: 1506-1517. (2011)
Nasr N, Maddocks S, Turville SG, Harman AN, Woolger N, Helbig KJ, Wilkinson J, Bye CR, Wright TK, Rambukwelle D, Donaghy H, Beard MR, Cunningham AL. HIV-1 infection of human macrophages directly induces viperin which inhibits viral production. Blood (2012)
Helbig KJ, Carr JM, Calvert JK, Wati S, Clarke JN, Eyre NS, Narayana SK, Fiches GN, McCartney EM and Beard MR. (2013) Viperin Is Induced following Dengue Virus Type-2 (DENV-2) Infection and Has Anti-viral Actions Requiring the C-terminal End of Viperin. PLoS Negl Trop Dis April, 7(4): e2178.
McCartney EM, Helbig KJ, Narayana SK, Eyre NS, Aloia AL, Beard MR. Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 is a proviral host factor for hepatitis C virus Hepatology 2013 Nov;58(5):1558-68.
Eyre, N. S.; Fiches, G. N.; Aloia, A. L.; Helbig, K. J.; McCartney, E. M.; McErlean, C. S.; Li, K.; Aggarwal, A.; Turville, S. G.; Beard, M. R. Dynamic imaging of the hepatitis C virus NS5A protein during a productive infection J Virol. 2014 Apr;88(7):3636-52.