Cell Biology of Viral Infection

Maria João Amorim

Influenza A virus is one of the major causes of acute contagious respiratory disease in humans, leading to seasonal epidemics and sporadic deadly pandemics.

Despite tight surveillance of circulating strains worldwide, and the implementation of yearly vaccination schemes, the pathogen is responsible for high mortality, morbidity and economic damage. Development of novel ways to control infection is therefore necessary. The elucidation of host factors contributing to a productive infection, as well as host pathways that are able to regulate it can lead to novel therapies.

The Cell Biology of Viral Infection Lab is interested in understanding the interactions between influenza A virus and the infected host at different levels. By identifying the host machinery necessary to sustain viral infection we seek to understand the viral lifecycle and unravel key aspects of the biology of the cell.

Our goal is to explain if the viral usage of a certain pathway induces alterations to its normal functioning and to the overall morphology of the cell. By studying the host response to viral challenge, we seek to unravel host innate immune responses and ways to control viral infection.


Research Projects



  • Ho, J S Y, Angel, M, Ma, Y, Sloan, E, Wang, G, Martinez-Romero, C, Alenquer, M, Roudko, V, Chung, L, Zheng, S, Chang, M, Fstkchyan, Y, Clohisey, S, Dinan, A M, Gibbs, J, Gifford, R, Shen, R, Gu, Q, Irigoyen, N, Campisi, L, Huang, C, Zhao, N, Jones, J D, van Knippenberg, I, Zhu, Z, Moshkina, N, Meyer, L, Noel, J, Peralta, Z, Rezelj, V, Kaake, R, Rosenberg, B, Wang, B, Wei, J, Paessler, S, Wise, H M, Johnson, J, Vannini, A, Amorim, M J, Baillie, J K, Miraldi, E R, Benner, C, Brierley, I, Digard, P, Łuksza, M, Firth, A E, Krogan, N, Greenbaum, B D, MacLeod, M K, van Bakel, H, Garcìa-Sastre, A, Yewdell, J W, Hutchinson, E, Marazzi, I, Hybrid Gene Origination Creates Human-Virus Chimeric Proteins during Infection, 2020, Cell.

  • Alenquer M, Vale-Costa S, Sousa AL, Etibor TA, Ferreira F and Amorim MJ, Influenza A virus ribonucleoproteins form liquid organelles at endoplasmic reticulum exit sites, 2019, Nature Communications. 10, Article number: 1629. Top 2% in Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology.
    Also see Comment



Maria João Amorim, Principal Investigator

PhD in Virology University of Cambridge, United Kingdom




Phone: +351 214 407 905

E-mail: [email protected]