Dennis Bamford
Professor Emeritus

Department of Biosciences

Viikinkaari 9
(P.O. Box 56)
00014 University of Helsinki
FINLAND

dennis.bamford|at|helsinki.fi

Tel (mobile): +358 (0)2941 59100
Tel (office): +358 (0)2941 59099

Fax: +358 (0)9 386 7170

Bamford Group

Virus evolution

As a result of our work on virus structures, we have identified surprising similarities between viruses infecting hosts belonging to different domains of life. This was originally shown for human adenovirus and bacterial virus PRD1. The underlying hypothesis is that we can probe much deeper evolutionary relationships in general, and for viruses in particular, by combining high-resolution structural and functional data than what can be achieved by merely analyzing genomic databases and using more conventional methods.

We wish to test the hypothesis that the entire virosphere can be organized to a relatively small number of structure based virus lineages due to the limited protein fold space. Each lineage may contain viruses and their hosts from different domains of life (bacteria, archaea and eukarya). In contrast to the monophyletic origin of cellular organisms, the accumulating data suggests a polyphyletic origin for viruses.

Further information in Tuhat database on Dennis Bamford and his publications.

 

Janne Ravantti: Bioinformatics of viral structures

The atomic-level details of the participating macromolecules and their interactions are essential for appreciating and understanding the viral functions. The power of our computational approaches rely on the long standing pioneering work on determining high-resolution structures of biological macromolecules in general and those of viruses in particular.

The overall goal is to build a comprehensive, fast and extensible computational framework for the accurate classification and comparison of three-dimensional virus structures. The crucial dimension of the research resides in the development of a novel computational method possessing much greater sensitivity than the sequence- or structure-based methods currently available.

Obviously, the possibility to discover new similarities between different viruses will have a considerable impact on virus research, ranging from virus taxonomy and evolution to the medical front, suggesting new targets for anti-viral therapy.

Further information in Tuhat database on Janne Ravantti and his publications.