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Jonathan Brandt

Current research

Viral control of host cell actin dynamics
Supervised by Dr Anne Straube

Working towards a PhD with the Straube lab at the Centre for Mechanochemical Cell Biology, my research focuses on the Marek's disease virus (MDV), particularly the enzyme US3 kinase.

MDV is a highly contagious cancer-causing virus that effects chickens and domesticated fowl. It is estimated that this accounts for aproximately $2.6 billion USD of economic loss worldwide to the industry. It is hoped that a further understanding of the processes that allow the spread of MDV will allow us to produce more effective intervention strategies. MDV provides a biomedically relevant model organism to study human disease-causing alphaherpesvirus such as the Varicella-Zoster virus responsible for chicken pox and shingles.

US3 kinase has been shown to be involved in the direct cell-to-cell spread of MDV. I aim to understand the molecular mechanisms of this, in particular how enzymatically inactive US3 kinase is able to depolymerise actin stress fibres within cells.

Previous research

'The molecular mimicry of the human poliovirus receptor as a possible cause for Zika virus disease'
Supervised by Professor Georgy Koentges

'The influence of competitive microflora presence on the inactivation of E. coli by different ultrasonic power densities'
Supervised by Dr Tim Aldsworth


2012 - 2015 Biomedical Science BSc, Coventry University

2015 - 2016 Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research MSc, University of Warwick



Jonathan Brandt

jonathan at mechanochemistry dot org

MCBB Room L2.23