We are a group of virologists and biophysicists developing and applying quantitative approaches to infectious disease research. The Munro lab is located within the Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems at the UMass Chan Medical School. We are devoted to the development and application of biophysical approaches–especially involving single-molecule fluorescence imaging–to studying a variety viral pathogens, including HIV, influenza, Ebola, and SARS-CoV-2. Our work incorporates elements of virology, biophysics, biochemistry, and computational modeling. Scientists of all backgrounds are welcome to get in touch.
We aim to visualize the dynamics of viral envelope glycoproteins during receptor engagement and membrane fusion using state-of-the-art biophysical techniques.
How do viral envelope glycoproteins conceal functional centers from attack by antibodies while maintaining responsiveness to cellular cues that trigger membrane fusion?
We develop biophysical tools to understand the viral and cellular factors that shape RNA structure and conformation during regulation of virus replication.
We develop and apply smFRET imaging approaches to visualize the dynamics of viral glycoproteins and RNAs in reduced and highly controlled environments, as well in the context of intact virions.
We use FCS to monitor the interactions of viral envelope glycoproteins and RNAs to ligands and model membranes.
To provide a functional counterpart to our investigation of conformational dynamics, we use single-particle fusion assays to monitor viral fusion to model membranes.
We use atomistic and coarse-grained MD simulation to aid in the interpretation of our experimental data and form hypotheses about the specific residues and interactions that mediate the observed dynamics.