Analyzing and Predicting Viruses Mathematically
Mathematics and Statistics and Viral Information Institute
Viruses store their infective genetic material in a protein shell called a capsid. The capsid protects the virus’s genetic material and delivers it into a host to initiate a new infection. Most capsids display icosahedral symmetry, but little is known about how viral proteins have evolved to form such precise geometries.
Dr. Antoni Luque models the geometrical and physical properties of viral capsids. He developed a mathematical framework to examine viral capsids that were until now unresolved. Dr. Luque and his team are applying this framework to predict viral capsids from genomic information. Ultimately, this technology will offer antiviral strategies for even unknown viruses that are lurking in the environment. The National Science Foundation supports Dr. Luque’s research (#1951678).