In 2018, Corinna Brockhaus received funding to research the BK virus in kidney transplant patients at Newcastle University.
What is the BK virus?
The BK virus is harmless in healthy people’s systems, but it can cause serious problems in some kidney transplant patients. This is because some medicines taken to prevent transplant rejection cause the virus to become more active.
How will this research make a difference?
There are no effective treatments for the BK virus, except to reduce anti-rejection medication which inevitably increases the risk of transplant rejection. Drug-like compounds that prevent BK virus from getting into cells have been developed – Corinna will study how these compounds work, use structural techniques to make new more effective compounds, and show whether blocking BK entry can prevent or treat BK virus kidney transplant damage.