James Rini, PhD

Professor
Department(s): Molecular Genetics
Location: MaRS West Tower
Email: james.rini@utoronto.ca

Specifically, our research is focused on three areas:
a) Virus-cell and cell-cell fusion
b) How human innate immune restriction factors target HIV-1 replication and are counteracted by viral antagonists
c) Discovery of anti-viral agents

We employ a combination of X-ray crystallography and small angle X-ray scattering, in addition to other molecular biological and biophysical techniques, to understand these host-pathogen interactions. Crystallographic analysis of viral surface glycoproteins and restriction factors has offered a tremendous wealth of insights into recognition, entry, evasion, restriction, and pathogenesis unobtainable by other methods. Once structures are determined, questions and hypotheses arising will be subsequently tested using biochemical, immunological and virological techniques.

Selected Publications:

  1. Wong, A.H.M., Tomlinson, A.C.A., Zhou, D., Satkunarajah, M., Chen, K., Sharon, C., Desforges, M., Talbot, P.J. and Rini, J.M.  Receptor-binding loops in alphacoronavirus adaptation and evolution.  (2017) Nature Communications, 8(1):1735.
  2. Dubé, M., LeCoupanec, A., Wong, A.H.M., Rini, J.M., Desforges, M., and Talbot, P.J. Axonal Transport Enables Neuron-to-Neuron propagation of HCoV-OC43. (2018) J. Virology  16;92(17). pii: e00404-18.
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