Kevin Coombs

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Kevin Coombs, PhD
University of Manitoba, Canada

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Biography

Dr. Kevin Coombs obtained his BA degrees in Biology and English from the State University of New York in Geneseo, NY, and his PhD degree in Microbiology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1986. After post-doctoral work at Harvard Medical School, he joined the faculty at the University of Manitoba in 1990. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology, with cross-appointments in the Department of Physiology, the Department of Microbiology/Faculty of Science, and the Manitoba Institute of Child Health.

Dr. Kevin Coombs obtained his BA degrees in Biology and English from the State University of New York in Geneseo, NY, and his PhD degree in Microbiology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1986. After post-doctoral work at Harvard Medical School, he joined the faculty at the University of Manitoba in 1990. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology, with cross-appointments in the Department of Physiology, the Department of Microbiology/Faculty of Science, and the Manitoba Institute of Child Health.

Research Interest

Dr. Coombs’ major research interests are to delineate the protein and nucleic acid interactions in nucleoprotein complexes, using a variety of RNA viruses as models. His lab studies how these interactions change as a result of, and in turn, are modulated by, conformational transitions that occur during macromolecular assembly and disassembly, how these processes can be attenuated by anti-viral compounds, and how these processes in virus infections contribute to pathogenesis in the host. This work, which has been continuously funded by the MRC/CIHR since the year after he moved to Manitoba, is in general areas of:

  • Generation and molecular characterization of assembly-defective virus mutants
  • Inhibition of virus replication using pharmacologic inhibitors
  • Mass spectrometry- and Systems-based analyses of virus and host protein alterations
  • Molecular characterization of RNA-dependent RNA polymerases and cofactor proteins

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