Scientific Calendar Event


Physical Virology is a nascent discipline involving the development and application of physics-based quantitative methods for characterization of various aspects of the "life cycle" of viruses.

This area of research has been rapidly growing for at least two reasons. First, the "molecular minimality" of viruses implies that their life cycle must rely on passive physical mechanisms to an extent that has no parallel in bacterial or eukaryotic cells, which have a more complex organization. Secondly, experimental techniques are nowadays capable of probing the living and inanimate matter at the nanoscale, thus providing an unprecedented insight into the structural and dynamical behaviour of viruses.

This workshop aims at providing a state-of-the-art overview of the topic by bringing together theorists and experimentalists to present and discuss the latest advancements.

The workshop will particularly focus on:

- the structure and self-assembly of viral capsids;
- the nature and energetics of packaging of the genome;
- the dynamics and nanoscale interactions responsible for viral genome delivery;
- the systemic spreading of viral infections, and
- the adaptive response to evolutionary pressure of the highly optimized viral genome
Invited Speakers include:
A. BEN-SHAUL, The Hebrew U.  Jerusalem
B. BOTHNER, Montana State U.
P. J. DE PABLO GÓMEZ, U. Autónoma de Madrid
B. DRAGNEA, Indiana U.
A. EVILEVITCH, Carnegie Mellon U.
M. HAGAN, Brandeis U.
G. INDELICATO, The U. of York
W. KEGEL, Utrecht U.
P. G. LEIMAN, U. of Texas
M. G. MATEU, U. Autónoma de Madrid
E. R. MAY, U. of Connecticut
M. MUTHUKUMAR, U. of Massachusetts
A. PARMEGGIANI, U. Montpellier II
D. RAPAPORT, Bar-Ilan University
S. B. ROCHAL, Southern Fed. U., Rostov-on-Don
W. ROOS, U. of Groningen
I. ROUZINA, U. of Minnesota
G. TRESSET, U. Paris-Sud
L. TUBIANA, U. of Vienna
R. TWAROCK, The U. of York
C. UETRECHT, Leibniz Inst. for Experimental Virology, Hamburg

Go to day
  • Monday, 17 July 2017
    • 08:30 - 19:30 Monday, 17 July
      Location: Leonardo Building - Budinich Lecture Hall
      • 08:30 Registration & Administrative Formalities 1h40' ( Leonardo Building - Lobby )
        Slot reserved for Participants not staying in ICTP Guesthouses, and Faculty.
        (Participants staying in ICTP Guesthouses will register upon check-in at the Guesthouse Reception desks.)
        AFTER registration, Visitors funded by the ICTP must collect their dues at the Operations Office c/o E. Fermi building, ground floor (Mon, Tue & Fri, 8:30-12:00/13:30-14:30).
      • 10:10 Opening and Welcome address 10'
      • 10:20 Packaging Signal Mediated Assembly in RNA Viruses: Mechanisms, Evolutionary Consequences and Therapy 40'
        Speaker: Reidun TWAROCK (University of York)
      • 11:00 Harnessing Coherence in Light and Matter - A Virus Assembly Approach 40' ( Leonardo Building - Budinich Lecture Hall )
        Speaker: Bogdan DRAGNEA (Indiana University)
        Material: Video
      • 11:40 Self-Assembly Dynamics of Linear Virus-Like Particles: Theory and Experiment 40'
        Speaker: Paul VAN DER SCHOOT (Technische Universiteit Eindhoven)
        Material: Slides Video
      • 12:20 Lunch break 1h40'
      • 14:00 Dynamics of in vivo Bacteriophage Genome Ejection 40'
        Speaker: Willem KEGEL (Utrecht University)
        Material: Video
      • 14:40 Packaging Stiff Polymers in Small Containers: A Molecular Dynamics Study 40'
        Speaker: Dennis RAPAPORT (Bar-Ilan University)
      • 15:20 Coffee break 30' ( Leonardo Building - Lobby )
      • 15:50 Atomic Force Microscopy of Virus Capsids Uncover the Interplay between Mechanics, Structure and Function 40'
        Speaker: Pedro J. de PABLO GOMEZ (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
        Material: Slides Video
      • 16:30 Electrostatic Foundations of Virus Assembly 40'
        Speaker: Murugappan MUTHUKUMAR (University of Massachusetts)
        Material: Video
      • 17:10 Poster Session 50'
      • 18:00 Get-together for all Participants 1h30' ( Leonardo Building - Terrace )
  • Tuesday, 18 July 2017
    • 09:00 - 17:10 Tuesday, 18 July
      Location: Leonardo Building - Budinich Lecture Hall
      • 09:00 Viral vs. Random-Sequence RNA vs. Randomly Branched Polymer 40'
        Speaker: Avinoam BEN-SHAUL (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
        Material: Video
      • 09:40 In Vitro Reconstitution of Virus-Like Particles for the Delivery of Self-Replicating RNA Genes 40'
        Speaker: William GELBART (UCLA)
        Material: Video
      • 10:20 Coffee break 30' ( Leonardo Building - Lobby )
      • 10:50 Influence of Mutations on the Compactness of Viral ssRNA Genomes. A Detailed Computational Study of MS2 and BMV RNA2 40'
        Speaker: Luca TUBIANA (University of Vienna)
        Material: Video
      • 11:30 Assembly and Mechanics of Viral and Non-viral Protein Shells 40'
        Speaker: Wouter ROOS (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen)
      • 12:10 Lunch break 1h50' ( Leonardo Building - Cafeteria )
      • 14:00 Assembly Pathway of a Small Spherical Virus and Structural Determinants of Its Mechanical Properties 40'
        Speaker: Mauricio G. MATEU (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
        Material: Video
      • 14:40 Viral Self-Assembly and Mechanical Stress Relaxation 40'
        Speaker: Martin CASTELNOVO (ENS, Lyon)
        Material: Video
      • 15:20 Coffee break 30' ( Leonardo Building - Lobby )
      • 15:50 How to Control the Size of A Protein Shell 40'
        Speaker: Michael HAGAN (Brandeis University )
        Material: Video
  • Wednesday, 19 July 2017
    • 09:00 - 12:30 Wednesday, 19 July
      Location: Leonardo Building - Budinich Lecture Hall
      • 09:00 The Role of the Cargo in Alphavirus Cores 40'
        Speaker: Tuli MUKHOPADHYAY (Indiana University)
        Material: Video
      • 09:40 Flying Viruses – From Biophysical to Structural Characterisation 40'
        Speaker: Charlotte UETRECHT (Heinrich Pette Institute - Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology)
        Material: Video
      • 10:20 Coffee break 30' ( Leonardo Building - Lobby )
      • 10:50 Energetics of Sheath Contraction in Contractile Injection Systems 40'
        Speaker: Petr LEIMAN (University of Texas Medical Branch)
      • 11:30 Are Stability and Dynamics Competing or Synergistic Properties of Viral Capsids? 40'
        Speaker: Brian BOTHNER (Montana State University)
        Material: Video
      • 12:10 Group Photo 10' ( Leonardo Building Lobby/Main entrance )
  • Thursday, 20 July 2017
    • 09:00 - 15:50 Thursday, 20 July
      • 09:00 Statistical Mechanics of Branched Polymers 40' ( Leonardo Building - Budinich Lecture Hall )
        Speaker: Alexander GROSBERG (New York University)
        Material: Slides Video
      • 09:40 Nonequilibrium Dynamics of RNA Packaging in Viral Capsids 40' ( Leonardo Building - Budinich Lecture Hall )
        Speaker: Guillaume TRESSET (CNRS/Université Paris-Sud)
        Material: Video
      • 10:20 Coffee break 30' ( Leonardo Building - Lobby )
      • 10:50 RNA-Protein Interactions in HIV-1 Particle Assembly 40' ( Leonardo Building - Budinich Lecture Hall )
        Speaker: Alan REIN (National Cancer Institute at Frederick)
        Material: Slides Video
      • 11:30 Physical Mechanism of Genomic RNA Selective Packaging by HIV-1 Retrovirus 40' ( Leonardo Building - Budinich Lecture Hall )
        Speaker: Ioulia ROUZINA (Ohio State University)
        Material: Slides Video
      • 12:10 Lunch break 1h50' ( Leonardo Building - Cafeteria )
      • 14:00 Herpesvirus Infectivity Facilitated by Internal DNA Pressure and Capsid Stability 40' ( Leonardo Building - Budinich Lecture Hall )
        Speaker: Alex EVILEVITCH (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
      • 14:40 A Mathematical Model for the Classification of Self-Assembling Polypeptide Nanoparticles 40' ( Leonardo Building - Budinich Lecture Hall )
        Speaker: Giuliana INDELICATO (University of York)
        Material: Video
      • 15:20 Coffee break 30' ( Leonardo Building - Lobby )
    • 15:50 - 17:00 Poster Highlights - Flash presentations
      • 15:50 Asymmetric 3D reconstruction of the RNA content of BMV virions 10'
        Speaker: Christian Beren, University of California, Los Angeles
      • 16:00 Selective HIV-1 Gag-RNA interaction requires a series of specific interactions distributed across the 5’-UTR 10'
        Speaker: Mauricio Comas Garcia, National Cancer Institute, Frederick
      • 16:10 Monitoring the self-assembly and disassembly of individual viral capsids 10'
        Speaker: Rees Garmann, Harvard University
      • 16:20 Quantitative nanoscale electrostatics of viruses 10'
        Speaker: Mercedes Hernando-Pérez, Spanish National Center for Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC)
      • 16:30 How robust is the icosahedral symmetry in packings of proteins in spherical shells? 10'
        Speaker: Majid Mosayebi, University of Bristol
      • 16:40 Kinetics of surface-driven self-assembly and disassembly induced by materials fatigue of a virus-based nanocoating 10'
        Speaker: Alejandro Valbuena, Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Friday, 21 July 2017
    • 09:00 - 12:40 Friday, 21 July
      • 09:00 Modeling pH Mediated Conformational Changes in Virus Capsids 40'
        Speaker: Eric MAY, Universtiy of Connecticut
        Material: Video
      • 09:40 Vladimir Lorman Session - Introduction 10' ( Leonardo Building - Budinich Lecture Hall )
        Speaker: Rudolf PODGORNIK (University of Ljubljana)
        Material: Video
      • 09:50 Vladimir Lorman and the Physics of Unconventional Systems 40'
        Speaker: Andrea PARMEGGIANI (CNRS, Université de Montpellier)
        Material: Slides
      • 10:30 Coffee break 30'
      • 11:00 Hidden Symmetry and Principles of Structural Organization in Small ‘Anomalous’ and Double-Shelled Capsids 40'
        Speaker: Sergey ROCHAL (Southern Federal University)
        Material: Slides
      • 11:40 Orientational Phase Transitions and the Assembly of Viral Capsids 40'
        Speaker: Robijn BRUINSMA (UCLA)
        Material: Slides Video
      • 12:20 Lorman, Icosahedral Symmetry and Electrostatic Interactions 10'
        Speaker: Roya ZANDI (University of California, Riverside)
      • 12:30 Closing remarks 10'