Virus Technology Unit

Leades: Viktor Varga and Máté Sümegi

Injection of the hereditary information carrying genetic material into the host cell is a pivotal aspect of the survival of viruses. Evolution has improvised countless devious strategies to achieve this goal. Hence, viruses are capable of reprograming a wild variety of different cell types. Some of these strategies are the fundamental building blocks of the virus-based genetic manipulations called viral vectors. These vectors made possible the quick and cheap genetic manipulation of the mammalian central nervous system (CNS) with low technological barriers.

The success of viral vectors in the past decade highlights their extraordinary significance. With the developments in DNA and vector preparations and the accompanying services, we have reached the point where years and highly trained professionals are no longer needed for most genetic interventions in the CNS. The genetic manipulation become easy to reach for scientist of other fields.

Experimenter and experimental subject are not so different at the level of cells and genes. Furthermore, the nucleic acid- and protein-motifs used in viral vectors might originate from zoonotic or human pathogens. It is easy to see the potential risks carried by these techniques. Our Institute puts major emphasis on establishing proper infrastructure for the low risk procedures carried out here. For this reasons we are running two different biosafety level core facilities.

Excerpt from the Guidebook of the Institute 2015.


BSL1/ABSL1 Virus Core Unit

Viktor VargaUnit Leader, Associated Research Fellow
Edit Papp Operative Leader, Associated Research Fellow

BSL2/ABSL Virus Core Unit

Máté SümegiUnit Leader, Associated Research Fellow