Profile of the Month

Tan Yee Joo

BA, MA, DPhil
Associate Professor
Department of Microbiology and Immunology

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Hepatitis viruses and newly emerged viruses

We are working on hepatitis viruses and newly emerged viruses. Hepatitis B and C viruses cause chronic infection and are linked to the development of hepatocellular carcinoma. Newly-emerged viruses such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), and H5N1 avian influenza A virus (IAV) are serious threats to public health and have become a global concern. We investigate the interplay between virus and host so as to identify novel targets for antiviral drug screening. In addition, our laboratory also focuses on understanding the humoral response against highly pathogenic viruses and identifying potential therapeutic monoclonal antibodies that are targeting different viral proteins. By mapping the binding epitopes of these monoclonal antibodies and the mechanism by which virus escapes antibody neutralisation, we aim to determine how they can be harnessed as powerful tools for fighting severe viral infection. Thus, this may have implications for the development of antiviral therapeutics and vaccine.