Associate Professor of Biochemistry
Member of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute
The Acharya lab uses cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and x-ray crystallography for the structural determination of viral surface proteins and their complexes with receptors and antibodies. Using atomic-level structural determination we aim to elucidate the mechanism of virus entry into host cells. A key area of focus is also to elucidate atomic-level details of the interactions of the viral surface proteins with antibodies elicited during natural infection or by vaccination. Combining these two intersecting areas of basic research, my group interfaces with virologists, immunologists, and computational biologists to leverage our atomic level findings for vaccine development. While the bulk of our current research is focused on two viral pathogens—HIV-1 and SARS-CoV-2—we are expanding our portfolio to include other Coronaviruses and Paramyxoviruses such as Nipah and Hendra.