Biophysics of Enveloped Virus Assembly

Dr. Saveez Saffarian
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Utah

In this talk I will show how an enveloped virus is practically a well packaged nano-machine that is optimized for delivery of a genome and maximum replication in the host. Viruses are varied in size and shape but are generally below 200nm in size. They also spend a good portion of their life cycle outside of the living cells. To prepare for the long exile and re entry to the new host, viruses package their proteins very meticulously. It is this packaging process that is the main focus of the research in my lab and I will highlight a few exotic mechanisms we have found recently that shed light on the complexity of this process.