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Department of Pathology


Pathology researcher, Nerea Irigoyen, shares her experience contributing to the global pandemic research effort.


In March 2020, at the start of the pandemic, Nerea had to postpone all her Zika research work. She took this opportunity to apply her work in reversing cell stress response to reduce virus replication to SARS-CoV-2.


“Living through the pandemic has been hard for everyone, but for me it has also felt rewarding, showing me that working in the lab, doing my research and getting results, might one day translate into something that can change the world.” - Nerea


Understanding cellular stress–unfolded protein response–enables the virus to replicate. Through understanding this pathway, they were able to reverse the stress response process using different drugs and found that this reversal significantly reduced virus replication.


Nerea and her labs aim is to use the approach of reversing the unfolded protein response they developed with SARS-CoV-2, to develop a broad-spectrum antiviral drug, effective not only in SARS-CoV-2 but also in other types of viral diseases, such as Zika, Dengue, Yellow fever, and even some other types of viruses.



Read Nerea’s profile in the School of Biological Sciences Spotlight Series>>





Nerea Irigoyen is a Molecular Virologist in the Division of Virology, Department of Pathology.

She is also a member of the Infection and Immunity Research Theme in the School of Biological Sciences.

You can keep up with Nerea on Twitter @NereaIrigoyen