Molecular & Cellular Virology
Jean Dubuisson graduated as a Doctor in Veterinary Medicine in 1984 from the University of Liège in Belgium, and he received his PhD degree in 1989 from the same university. Between 1985 and 1991, he studied viral pathogenesis of bovine herpesviruses.
He did a post-doc between 1991 and 1994 at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, working on Sindbis virus, yellow fever virus and hepatitis C virus. In 1994, he obtained a tenure position at CNRS and he started to develop his own group in France, at the Institut Pasteur de Lille. Since 1993, Jean Dubuisson has been working on hepatitis C virus.
He has been a pioneer in studying hepatitis C virus entry and morphogenesis. Since 2014, his group is also developing research projects on coronaviruses and hepatitis E virus. In 2003, he received the Silver Medal Award from the CNRS and between 2005 and 2010, he was an HHMI (Howard Hughes Medical Institute) International Research Scholar.
The MCV team is dedicated to the study of positive-strand RNA viruses. The main objectives are to better understand how these viruses interact with their host at the cellular and molecular level and to identify new antiviral targets. The viral models are hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis E virus (HEV) and coronaviruses. For more than 20 years, the team has been studying the HCV life cycle and it has contributed to the field by characterizing the biogenesis of HCV glycoproteins as well as their functions in virus entry and assembly. Members of the team have also characterized host factors involved in different steps of the viral life cycle. They have also contributed to the characterization of HCV entry with the help of new antiviral molecules identified in the laboratory. Although major progress have been achieved since the development of a cell culture system for HCV in 2005, many gaps remain in our understanding of the HCV life cycle. The team therefore continues to study this virus and more particularly its interaction with the lipid metabolism.
In 2013, members of the team have also decided to initiate a new project on the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). This emerging virus is life threatening and there is currently no specific antiviral available to treat infected patients. The current objective is therefore to identify and characterize host factors involved in the life cycle of this virus and identify novel antiviral targets. From a more fundamental point of view, the team is more interested to better understand the molecular mechanisms leading to virus assembly.
More recently, due to the accumulation of tools to study HCV, members of the team have also initiated a project on HEV, another hepatotropic virus, and they are also interested to identify and characterize host factors involved in the life cycle of this virus.