Molecular Genetics of RNA Viruses

Head of Lab: Sylvie Van der Werf


Our research focuses on two categories of major viral pathogens: respiratory viruses, mainly influenza viruses, which are responsible for approximately 250,000-500,000 deaths during typical epidemic years and have the potential to cause zoonotic infections and eventually pandemics, and hepatitis C virus, which affects approximately 170 million persons worldwide and is associated with progressive hepatic fibrosis, cirrhosis and increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma.


Our unit associates three research groups on influenza viruses (Epidemiology and evolution of respiratory viruses / Cell biology of influenza virus-host interactions / Systems biology of respiratory viruses infections » and one research group on hepaciviruses (Hepacivirus / host interactions). It is also the coordinating center of the National Reference Centre for influenza viruses and WHO National Influenza Center (NIC) for Northern France as well as WHO Reference Laboratory for H5 influenza viruses and for the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV).


Our activities include studies on viral epidemiology and evolution, mechanisms of expression and replication of the viral genomes, and analysis of virus-host interactions.


Our unit is also affiliated to the CNRS national research agency and to the University Paris-Diderot, Paris Sorbonne Cité.