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Department of Mathematical Sciences

Seminar Archives

On this page you can find information about seminars in this and previous academic years, where available on the database.

Distinguished Lectures and Public Lectures: MATHS PUBLIC LECTURE - Geometry: A secret weapon in the fight against viruses

Presented by Reidun Twarock, University of York

5 March 2015 17:15 in Calman Learning Centre (CLC013)


Viruses are responsible for a wide range of devastating illnesses, yet therapy options are still limited. Mathematics provides a unique opportunity to gain a new perspective on how viruses form and how their formation may be prevented by novel anti-viral strategies. This is due to the fascinating structural properties of virus particles, which look like tiny containers that share geometric properties with footballs. The Twarock group has developed new mathematical tools that have provided unprecedented insights into the geometric constraints on virus structure. In an inter-dependent interdisciplinary collaboration with experimentalists in Leeds, these new tools have been used to reveal features in the formation of viruses that could not have been identified by experiment alone, and that can potentially be targeted by new anti-viral strategies. In this talk, I will demonstrate how geometry can help to better understand how viruses form and evolve. I will explain how these insights have resulted in the discovery of an Achilles' Heel in virus formation, and outline how this discovery provides a new perspective in the fight against viruses.

Contact anne.taormina@durham.ac.uk for more information