Dr. Christopher Barnes's lab is at the intersection of medicine, basic science and engineering. Viruses are inextricably linked to the host cells that they infect. Thus, investigating viral-host interactions is essential to understand the mechanisms of viral entry, replication, pathogenesis, and the host’s ability to respond to viral pathogens. The Barnes lab excels in leveraging interdisciplinary approaches to address fundamental principles of viral-host interactions for therapeutic benefit.
The Barnes Lab combines structural methods with in vivo approaches to translate knowledge of viral-host interactions into the development of therapeutics and vaccines against emerging and reemerging zoonotic viruses. In particular, their research translates knowledge of the structural correlates of antibody-mediated neutralization into the development of highly protective antibodies and therapeutic reagents. A related goal of the Barnes lab's research is to identify conserved epitopes on viral glycoproteins that are recognized by neutralizing antibodies to facilitate structure-based immunogen design for candidate vaccines against HIV-1, coronaviruses and emerging viral threats.