As a new member of RESIST we welcome Dr Benjamin Nilsson-Payant, scientist in the team of Prof Dr Thomas Pietschmann at the TWINCORE Institute for Experimental Virology. Dr Nilsson-Payant is particularly interested in how the flu-causing influenza A virus and other respiratory RNA viruses replicate their genomes.

“RNA viruses use RNA polymerases for their replication, which are error-prone by nature, which is why faulty viral genomes are produced. I am interested in how these faulty genomes trigger the innate immune response,” he says. To understand in detail the molecular mechanisms of viral replication and how viral-host interactions affect viral replication and the innate immune response, he uses a combined approach of molecular biology tools, state-of-the-art transcriptomics and viral engineering. In the long term, the researcher hopes to contribute to the emergence of new, effective options to combat these viruses.

Benjamin Nilsson-Payant studied biology at Imperial College London and completed his PhD in infection, immunology and translational medicine at the University of Oxford. From 2018 to 2021, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher in New York, first at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and then at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine.

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