Infectious diseases

At a glance

2023 Emerging Leaders Prize - Dr Joe Grove

Lead researcher

Dr Joe Grove


University of Glasgow



Amount awarded


Last updated



Med Research Awards Nov 2023 158 1

2023 Emerging Leaders Prize - Highly Commended, £30,000: Dr Joe Grove, Sir Henry Dale Fellow, MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research

Virus particles spread infection from one cell to another. They are, essentially, microscopic machines with moving parts called entry proteins, with which they break into cells. It is unknown how the entry proteins of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) allow them to access liver cells. This knowledge gap is holding back the development of vaccines and anti-viral drugs.

Dr Joe Grove has been investigating the entry proteins of HCV for over 15 years. He and his team combine laboratory experiments with computational simulation to understand the nuts and bolts of how these proteins work. Most recently, using state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI), Dr Grove’s team have predicted the structure of the HCV entry proteins. This work suggests that HCV has a previously unknown type of entry mechanism, and this discovery will guide laboratory work for years to come.

This Emerging Leaders Prize will fund powerful computing hardware to accelerate Dr Grove’s AI-guided research and allow him to extend his studies to entry proteins in HBV. The expectation is that this will generate new knowledge that will act as a foundation for future development of vaccines and drugs against viral hepatitis.

This poster created by Dr Grove shows more on his career and research.

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