Student Level: PhD, Masters, Honours

Chronic infection with hepatitis B vrius (HBV) causes a significant global health burden. Hepatitis D virus (HDV) infection is acquired either through simultaneous coinfection with HBV or following superinfection of chronic HBV infection. Coexistance of both viruses in the same cell significantly exacerbates the cellular stress response because of viral competition for cellular resources. It is expected that genomic factors of both viruses interact with viral and cellular genes to determine the cellular fate.

The main objectives of this project are to study:

  1. the presence and extent of active replication of HBV and HDV in a single cell, using both co- and superinfection (transfection) models
  2. the effect of HDV replication alone on cellular genes and regulatory mechanisms involved in controlling cell proliferation
  3. the effect on cellular genes and regulatory mechanisms during HBV and HDV coinfection or HDV superinfection
  4. The effect of HBV viral mutations on interactions with HDV-RNA and HDAg, during coinfection and superinfection, and effects on normal cellular processes.

Supervisor: Associate Professor Mark Douglas – mark.douglas@sydney.edu.au

Co- Supervisor: Dr Anis Khan – anis.khan@sydney.edu.au