SciLifeLab The Svedberg seminar series, Åke Lundkvist

Monday December 7

Åke Lundkvist

Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University

Åke Lundkvist took his PhD in 1993 at Karolinska Institutet and has since then held positions at The Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control/The Public Health Agency of Sweden (Smittskyddsinstitutet/Folkhälsomyndigheten) since 1993 and Karolinska Institutet 2008-2013. Since 2013 he is professor of virology at Uppsala University, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology. His main research interests are in the area of zoonotic viruses, where he explores the basic virology, epidemiology and immunology of highly pathogenic viruses, their vectors and reservoir hosts.

Viral zoonoses – not only Ebola

SARS, MERS-CoV and Ebola are recent examples of interspecies transmission of viruses from animals into the human population. However, these well-known pathogens are only a few of the estimated 70% of human infectious diseases that have an animal origin. In addition, many zoonotic pathogens are yet to be discovered. Interactions between host and pathogen govern the fate of such zoonotic infections. First, there is a threshold for the interspecies transmission, and second, how well the pathogen can propagate and spread in its new host. Our group at IMBIM, Uppsala University, constitutes a unique multidisciplinary platform to study zoonotic infections. Here virology, medicine, veterinary medicine, ecology, entomology and evolution meet with molecular biology. This year, research in a new BSL3 facility will commence, enabling studies of high-risk pathogens, impossible to study in traditional laboratories.

In particular, we focus on: i) Host/vector specificity and interspecies transmission of zoonotic viruses using influenza A, Sindbis and hantaviruses as models. ii) Molecular epidemiology of emerging or re-emerging rodent-, tick- and mosquito-borne pathogens. iii) Development of novel broad-spectrum antiviral agents.

Host: Göran Akusjärvi