Prof. Dr. Frank van Kuppeveld is head of the Virology Division of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. His group focuses on receptors, entry, and genome replication of picornaviruses, with a special interest in the mechanisms used by these viruses to create so-called replication organelles, with the purpose to identify inhibitors for antiviral drug development. Furthermore, his group investigates how viruses are recognized by intracellular sensors and how (picorna)viruses suppress host antiviral responses (e.g. type I IFN and stress responses). He published >100 papers (Cell, Cell Reports, Nature, Science, J Cell Biol, PLoS Pathogens, EMBO J, eLife), organised several (inter)national meetings (e.g. EUROPIC2018 and 2019 Keystone Conference on +RNA viruses) and delivered several keynote lectures at international conferences. He received the Beijerinck Premium, an award from the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, for most promising young virologist in 2004. Furthermore, he received various personal research grants from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), including prestigious NWO-VIDI and NWO-VICI grants. He coordinated EU-FP7 European Training Network EUVIRNA (2011-2015) and is currently coordinating EU-Horizon2020-funded European Training Network ANTIVIRALS (2015-2019), both of which focus on antiviral drug development.
About Utrecht University
The Utrecht University (UU) is the top Dutch university (Shanghai Ranking), while its Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (FVM) belongs to the top 5 veterinary research institutes in the world. The UU offers 45 undergraduate and 167 graduate programs, has some 30,000 students served by 7,500 academic staff, and has 6 graduate schools. The ESR will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Life Sciences. The Virology division of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine studies various viruses (picornavirus, coronavirus, influenza) at the level of molecules, cells, tissues, and organisms, to unravel the structure of these viruses and to identify their cellular receptors, entry pathways, replication mechanisms, assembly and release pathways, immune evasion strategies, as well as the mechanism of disease caused by these viruses (i.e. pathogenesis). Furthermore, based on our intensive studies in glycans (e.g. sialic acids) as virus receptor, we have established strong scientific and technological expertise in the field of “glycovirology”. Our ultimate goal is to translate the knowledge that we obtain into the development of novel vaccines, antiviral therapies, and diagnostic tools. The Virology Division is headed by Prof. Frank van Kuppeveld.