Jeroen Kortekaas, Barry Rockx
Many arboviruses are known to cause severe neurological disease in humans, impacting millions of people worldwide and often resulting in with long-lasting, debilitating sequalae in surviving patients. Yet still, relatively little is known about the exact mechanisms by which they gain access to the human central nervous system. Our goal is to use model systems developed in this PhD project to discern the neuroinvasive mechanisms employed by emerging arboviruses, in order to identify potential therapeutic or vaccine targets to prevent neuroinvasive disease. To move towards this goal, our objectives include initial elucidation of the neuroinvasive mechanisms employed by priority neurotropic arboviruses using a range of in vitro and in vivo approaches, and concurrent development of an in vitro model system that can be used to rapidly identify the capacity for neuroinvasion/virulence of newly emerging virus X.
Research questions / objectives