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My lab moved to the Zernike Institute

at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

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W. H. Roos
Biophysics: From Molecular to Systems Size levels

       The research in my group ranges from molecular to systems size levels. In particular, we study the structure and mechanics of viral capsids, their interaction with host cell molecules and the mechanisms of nanoparticle self-assembly. The genome in viral capsids is often packaged at high densities and in bacteriophages even to near crystalline densities. This sets high requirements on the mechanical properties of the viral shells. Using Atomic Force Microscopy we are studying how viruses have adapted their capsid properties to fulfil their task of efficiently encapsulating the genome. Viral assembly and genome-capsid interactions are closely related and for many viruses assembly is crucially dependent on the encapsulated genome. We study this assembly and the related genome-capsid interactions with various biophysical techniques.
      Next to viral systems my research interests are cells, the cytoskeleton and their associated molecular motors. How does a highly complex system like cells govern and coordinate their interactions with outside cues and with their intracellular components. Using microfabricated pillar arrays we have been able to construct quasi two-dimensional cross-linked actin networks, which are used as a model system for the actin cortex of cells. The pillar arrays are used as force sensors in order to study the mechanics of deformation of two-dimensional biopolymer networks. Furthermore, we have studied the clustering of molecular motors (kinesins) on microtubules using micropillar arrays and fluorescence microscopy techniques. 

Selected Publications:

J. Snijder, C. Uetrecht, R. Rose, R. Sanchez, G. Marti, J. Agirre, D. M. Guérin, G. J. Wuite, A. J. R. Heck, W. H. Roos
Probing the biophysical interplay between a viral genome and its capsid
Nature Chemistry, 2013, Vol. 5, 502-509

W. H. Roos, I. Gertsman, E. R. May, C. L. Brooks III, J. E. Johnson, G. J. L. Wuite
Mechanics of bacteriophage maturation
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., 2012, Vol. 109, 2342-2347

M. Baclayon, G. K. Shoemaker, C. Uetrecht, S. Crawford, M. Estes, B. Prasad, A. J. Heck, G. J. Wuite, W. H. Roos
Pre-stress strenghtens the shell of Norwalk Virus Nanoparticles
Nano Letters
2011, Vol. 11, 4865-4869

W. H. Roos, R. Bruinsma, G. J. L. Wuite
Physical Virology
Nature Physics, 2010, Vol. 6, 733-743

W. H. Roos, K. Radtke, E. Kniesmeijer, H. Geertsema, B. Sodeik, G. J. L. Wuite
Scaffold expulsion and genome packaging trigger stabilization of Herpes Simplex Virus capsids
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., 2009, Vol. 106, 9673-9678