Uncovering the antiviral activity of IFITM proteins using optical tweezers and light-sheet fluorescence microscopy

Isabel Llorente-Garcia (ILLG) (primary)
Dept. Physics and Astronomy
Mark Marsh (MM) (secondary)


IFITMs are interferon-induced membrane proteins that restrict the entry of a broad range of human and animal viruses, including influenza and HIV (1,2). They are also upregulated in certain cancers. Currently, it is unclear how these proteins work. We hypothesise that they change the properties of cellular membranes to prevent the viral membrane fusion events essential for cell entry and infection. The aim of this PhD project is to determine how the physical/chemical properties of cellular membranes (plasma membrane, endosomal membranes) are modified by the expression of IFITM proteins and to understand the mechanisms by which IFITMs restrict virus entry.


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Molecules, cells and industrial biotechnology
Area of Biology
Cell BiologyMicrobiology
Techniques & Approaches
BiochemistryBiophysicsImage ProcessingMicroscopy / ElectrophysiologySimulation / Modelling