An Engineering Approach to Solving Zika Virus
Assistant Professor Priya Shah studies viruses transmitted by arthropods to understand how to mitigate risk to humans
Priya Shah, who holds appointments in the Departments of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, and the Department of Chemical Engineering, is deciphering the behavior of the Zika virus on animal cells to delve into the possibilities for mitigating the sickness in humans.
"My lab is really interested in how viruses hijack cells and turn them into little, tiny viral factories," said Shah.
The Zika virus is a type of flavivirus – a virus typically transmitted by arthropods, such as ticks or mosquitos, which is easily spread in more tropical areas. The nature of the virus is to replicate, essentially divide and copy itself, in the most efficient way possible by infecting a host. This can result in the death of host cells followed by an immune response such as a fever or body aches.
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