Roger studies the structure of viruses to better understand their properties and to develop potential bionanotechnological tools.
To achieve this, he employs a wide range of different molecular biology techniques including transient expression of proteins in plants, to generate virus-like particles (VLPs), and cryo-electron microscopy, to look at the structure of these particles.
Virus-like particles (VLPs) mimic the structure of the original virus but lack the infectious genome. Therefore, they are a very useful tool to study the structure of viruses and also for biomedical applications including vaccine development, diagnostics and drug delivery.
Furthermore, he is using 3D printing technologies to generate 3D printed models of molecules, like proteins and virus structures, for scientific and outreach events.
Castells-Graells R., Lomonossoff G. P., Saunders K. (2018)Production of Mosaic Turnip Crinkle Virus-Like Particles Derived by Coinfiltration of Wild-Type and Modified Forms of Virus Coat Protein in Plants.Publisher's version: 1064-3745
Steele J. F., Peyret H., Saunders K., Castells R., Marsian J., Meshcheriakova Y., Lomonossoff G. P. (2017)Synthetic plant virology for nanobiotechnology and nanomedicine.Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. Nanomedicine and nanobiotechnology (n/a)Publisher's version: 1939-0041