My research focuses on the structure and assembly of viruses. Viruses have a protein shell that encapsulates and hence provides protection for the viral genome. We study the symmetries of viruses and their implications on virus architecture, including the tertiary structures of the capsid proteins and the organisation of the nucleic acid within the capsids. Moreover, we determine the putative pathways of virus assembly and study virus assembly via an energy landscape approach.
We discovered that the three-dimensional structure of simple viruses including the tertiary structure of their capsid proteins and the organisation of their genomic material are constrained collectively by a new symmetry principle. We showed that these results can be used to include the role of RNA into virus assembly models.