Researches Molecular Virology Research Group

Molecular Virology Research Group


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Molecular Virology research group is a part of Healthcare Biotechnology department of ASAB, NUST. The group is a specialized one, focusing on research on various aspects of Molecular Virology.

Virologists are responsible for diagnosing viral infections, understanding of host –viral interactions, Viral immune-pathogenesis and associated cancers, investigate the pharmacological response of viruses to antiviral drugs and the evolution of drug resistance , devise new strategies of  viral diseases treatment and vaccine synthesis.  Both RNA and DNA viruses have brought serious ailment to millions of individuals throughout the world. The major focus of our laboratory is to study diagnostic virology, host-viral interactions, viral pathogenesis, viral immunology, viral associated liver cancer, pathophysiology of purinergic receptors in viral infections. We are working on both RNA (hepatic viruses) and DNA (human papillomavirus) viruses.

Focus of the Laboratory:

  • Viral and Cellular Biomarkers in the Diagnosis of human papillomaviruses induced Cancer and Liver cancer
  • Understanding the genetic control of liver cancer.
  • Unrevealing the mechanisms underlying the viral perturbed signaling pathways

Group Members:

  • Dr.  Sobia Manzoor (dr.sobiamanzoor@asab.nust.edu.pk)
  • Miss Yasmin Badshah (yasmeenb@asab.nust.edu.pk)

Current Projects:

We are currently working on the following projects:

  • Evaluation of the hepatic viruses’ persistence and a phagemid-based targeting strategy for hacking viral virulence; a CRISPR mediated therapeutic approach.
  • Study of Resistance Associated Viral Variants in Chronic HCV Patients under Direct-Acting Antivirals Therapeutic Regimens
  • Investigating the Role of IL22 in Persuasion, Development, and Metastasis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Hepatitis C virus related hepatocellular carcinoma genetic biomarkers
  • The role of human papillomaviruses in cancer progression
  • New Therapies for Hepatitis C Virus Infection

Selected Research Publications:

  1. Mushtaq S, Mansoor A, Umar M, Khan A, Siddiqi S, Manzoor S*. Direct-acting antiviral agents in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C-Real-life experience from clinical practices in Pakistan. J Med Virol.2020 Mar 4. doi: 10.1002/jmv.25745.
  2. Resham S, Saalim M, Manzoor S*, Ahmad H, Bangash TA, Latif A, Jaleel S. Mechanistic study of interaction between IL-22 and HCV core protein in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma among liver transplant recipients. Microb Pathog.2020 Feb 16; 142:104071. doi: 10.1016/j.micpath.2020.104071.
  3. Ashraf MM, Ishtiyaq AMJ, Umar M, Manzoor S*. CD81+ Exosomes Play a Pivotal Role in the Establishment of Hepatitis C Persistent Infection and Contribute Toward the Progression of Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Viral Immunol. 2019; 32(10):453–462. doi:10.1089/vim.2019.0077.
  4. Asif A, Khalid M, Manzoor S*, Ahmad H, Rehman AU. Role of purinergic receptors in hepatobiliary carcinoma in Pakistani population: an approach towards proinflammatory role of P2X4 and P2X7 receptors. Purinergic Signal. 2019;15(3):367–374. doi:10.1007/s11302-019-09675-0.
  5. Asghar S, Parvaiz F, Manzoor S*. Multifaceted role of cancer educated platelets in survival of cancer cells. Thrombosis Res. 2019. May; 177: 42-50.  doi : 10.1016/j.thromres.2019.02.06.
  6. Rauf M, Tuz-Zahra F, Manzoor S*,Mehmood A, Bhatti S. Outbreak of chikungunya in Pakistan. Lancet Infect  Dis.2017 Mar; 17(3):258. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(17)30074-9.
  7. Manzoor S*, Saalim M, Imran M, Resham S,  Ashraf  J. Hepatitis B virus therapy: What’s the future holding for us?World J Gastroenterol. 2015 Nov 28; 21(44):12558-75. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i44.12558.
  8. Khalid M, Brisson L, Tariq M, Hao Y, Guibon R, Fromont G, Mortadza SAS, Mousawi F, Manzoor S*, Roger S*,Jiang LH*. Carcinoma-specific expression of P2Y11 receptor and its contribution in ATP-induced purinergic signalling and cell migration in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Oncotarget.  2017 June; 6; 8(23):37278-37290. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.16191.

DETAILS OF RESEARCH GROUP MEMBERS :

Dr.  Sobia Manzoor (Molecular Virology Research Group)

The  focus of this group research on various aspects of  hepatic viruses including but not limited to establishment of In-Vitro infectivity assay for replication of HCV, Perturbed signaling pathways involved in HCV induced liver pathologies, Immuno-pathogenesis of HCV and hepatocellular carcinoma, molecular mechanisms underlying the hepato-regeneration and hepato-carcinogenesis,  identification of biomarkers for prognosis and diagnosis of hepatic cirrhosis and HCC using liquid biopsy  (platelets and Extracellular vesicles).  Pathophysiology of Purinergic receptors in HCV and HIV.

Focus of the Laboratory:

  • Study of resistance associated viral variants in chronic HCV patients under direct-acting antivirals therapeutic regimens
  • Investigating the role of il22 in persuasion, development, and metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Evaluation of the hepatic viruses’ persistence and a phagemid-based targeting strategy for hacking viral virulence; a CRISPR mediated therapeutic approach
  • Extracellular Vesicles in viral persistence and diseases progression
  • Identification of potent biomarkers for liver cancer and end stage liver diseases using liquid biopsy
  • Role of P2X receptors in treatment outcomes of HIV patients

Current Laboratory Members:

PhD Scholars:

  1. Saima Mushtaq
  2. Saleha Resham
  3. Maliha Ashraf Malik

MS Students:

  1. Eeman Rahman
  2. Moomal Masood
  3. Haleema Saadia
  4. Rida-e-Zainab (Co-Sup)
  5. Sidrah Urooj
  6. Kafeela Kausar
  7. Haiqa khan
  8. Daniyal Sajid Khan

Honors and Awards:

  • ASAB- The Best Researcher of the Year 2016-2017.
  • Young scientist 2015 Gold Medal Award by Pakistan Academy of Medical. Sciences (PAMS). http://www.thenews.com.pk/print/72899-pams-convocation-today.

Ms. Yasmeen Badshah (Molecular Virology Research Group)

Virologists are responsible for diagnosing viral infections and also investigate the pharmacological response of viruses to antiviral drugs and the evolution of drug resistance.  Both RNA and DNA viruses have brought serious ailment to millions of individuals throughout the world. Thus, the study of these viruses and immune system with the aim to develop effective antiviral strategy against HCV, HBV and HPV has been our top priority. We are studying Hepatitis C virus/ Hepatitis B virus induced liver adaptive responses and HPV gene expression and regulation.

Focus of the Laboratory:

  • Viral and Cellular Biomarkers in the Diagnosis of human papillomaviruses induced Cancer
  • Understanding the key signaling pathways of viral induced HCC.
  • Understanding the genetic control of HCC.
  • Identification of novel Bio-markers for HCC.

Laboratory Members:

  1. Aysha Nawaz
  2. Saliha Wasim
  3. Maham Ayman
  4. Misha Zaib
  5. Tehmina Azam
  6. Shanzay Shahid Butt

Current Projects:

  • Hepatitis C virus related hepatocellular carcinoma genetic biomarkers
  • The role of human papillomaviruses in cancer progression
  • New Therapies for Hepatitis C Virus Infection


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