University of Leeds

Can a perilous virus become a potent healer?

Walk into the Astbury Centre for Structural and Molecular Biology at the University of Leeds (UK) and you will find an elite group of experts on the subject of proteins and how they unfold. Protein behavior has been directly linked to disease. Find a way to keep proteins from "misbehaving" and some of our toughest diseases might be cured.

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The university, which has been using Waters equipment for years, had purchased the SYNAPT HDMS System. And for very good reason. It is the only commercial instrument to offer the ion mobility separation so important to the team’s work on virus capsids. A capsid is the protein shell that surrounds a virus particle. A virus must invade living cells to remain alive and do its dirty work. So the team from Leeds is working on using the capsid as a drug transporter. The goal is to speckle the capsid with drug molecules and then the virus capsid would take the drug molecules to a specific cell in the body.

It’s down-the-road thinking, but it’s an idea that could usher in a new world of drug therapies.

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