Case

Berend Jan Bosch

Berend Jan Bosch (1975) received his PhD degree in 2004 under supervision of Prof. Dr. Peter Rotter at the Virology division of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University. Topic of his thesis was the assembly and fusion mechanism of the coronavirus spike glycoprotein.

Rift Valley fever glycoproteins: Key to entry

In 2005 he received the NWO-VENI grant and became assistant professor at the Virology division. He subsequently started his own research group working on the cell entry mechanism of membrane enveloped viruses, a complex and dynamic process mediated by viral glycoproteins which mediate cell surface attachment, endocytic uptake and membrane fusion. His work has led to the identification of several cell surface molecules to which viruses attach to initiate infection, such as dipeptidyl peptidase 4 and cellular glycosaminoglycan heparan sulphate for the zoonotic MERS coronavirus and RVFV bunyavirus, respectively. Moreover his group revealed the key role of host factors such as endosomal acidic pH and endo-lysosomal and extracellular proteases in the activation of viral glycoproteins for membrane fusion. His research on viral glycoproteins has translated in several vaccine development initiatives for bunya-, influenza- and coronavirus related diseases.