Rushika PereraAssociate Professor Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology
Dr. Perera is an Associate Professor of RNA virology. Her laboratory is focused on studying the impact of cellular metabolism on Arbovirus replication within their vertebrate hosts and Arthropod vectors. She uses a systems biology approach (metabolomics/proteomics) combined with molecular virology, cell and structural biology, and biochemistry to study virus-host interactions. These viruses cause significant perturbations to the host metabolome to facilitate the formation of replication factories within specialized membrane structures. These structures are required for viral genome replication, assembly and egress. The host metabolome also fulfills the energy requirements for virus replication. Therefore, it is a key avenue to understand the dynamics of virus-host interactions. The goal of her research is to identify control points in cellular metabolic pathways that are required for virus replication, and evaluate these control points as novel targets for antiviral intervention.