June 03, 2020
The Department of Biology wants to highlight three recent Rao's lab publications on the biology of viruses. The papers solved the structure of a mismatched viral vertex, generated a high resolution functional map of a bacteriophage long virus fiber, and  established an efficient phage-based viral vector for vaccine design and gene therapy. Importantly, these were topics of major interest  in virology for decades. The papers shed significant light, particularly the vertex structure showing a new "morphing phenomenon" that has implications to all biological systems.  
Fang Q, Tang WC, Tao P, Mahalingam M, Fokine A, Rossmann MG, Rao VB. (2020). Structural morphing in a symmetry-mismatched viral vertex. Nature Communications 2020 Apr 6;11(1):1713. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-15575-4.
Islam MZ, Fokine A, Mahalingam M, Zhang Z, Garcia-Doval C, van Raaij MJ, Rossmann MG, Rao VB. (2019) Molecular anatomy of the receptor binding module of a bacteriophage long tail fiber. PLoS Pathogens 2019 Dec 19;15(12):e1008193. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1008193.

Zhu, J., Tao, P., Mahalingam, M., Sha, J., Kilgore, P., Chopra, A. K. and Rao, V. (2019) A prokaryotic eukaryotic hybrid viral vector for delivery of large cargos of genes and proteins into human cells. Science Advances 5, eaax0064.