Dr. Chiara Mencarelli – Research Scientist, Virology Research Services

    • Dr. Chiara Mencarelli – Research Scientist, Virology Research Services's presentations

    Following training in Medical Biotechnology (MSc, Florence, Italy) and Neuroimmunology (PhD, Maastricht, The Netherlands), I joined the Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology (LMCB) at University College London (UCL) as a research fellow in 2012. My postdoctoral work at the LMCB has involved large-scale genetic screens in eukaryotic cells, advanced florescence microscopy, and genetic manipulation of protein subcellular localization. In 2017, to meet a growing need from the research community, I co-founded Virology Research Services, a fee-for-service platform at UCL that handles high-throughput antiviral screening, vaccine development, and viral diagnostics projects for academia and industry.

    Title: Antivirals, vaccines, and diagnostics: accelerating discovery

    Synopsis: Recent virus outbreaks (e.g., Ebola, Zika, Nipah, influenza) have increased awareness of the threat that viruses pose to global health, as infections that seemed distant problems just a decade ago can now spread rapidly to every corner of the planet, with unpredictable consequences. Pharma companies, including many Small/Medium Enterprises, have taken up the challenge of developing new vaccines and antiviral treatments. However, the scarcity of high-containment infrastructures together with the technical difficulties associated with virology research has led to increased outsourcing of the early R&D stages. At Virology Research Services, our mission is to help tackle viral infections by supporting the research efforts of industry and academia. We do this by permanently hosting the knowledge, know-how, and specialized facilities needed to advance anti-viral research, which we make available to our clients. This approach is advantageous because it removes the need for each new project or laboratory to invest heavily in personnel and facilities. Our services are focused on modern, high-throughput, and knowledge-based assays and solutions, and include small-molecule/siRNA high-throughput screening, target validation, mode-of-action studies, vaccine testing, development of diagnostic systems, and bespoke services. Our in-house research program is focused on assay development and the discovery of host-targeted broad-spectrum antivirals; a novel approach with much promise.


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