IMV Today

The IMV is housed in Robert M. Bock Laboratories and consists of seven faculty members—Paul Ahlquist, Paul Friesen, Marta Gaglia, Rob Kalejta, Robert Kirchdoerfer, Kinjal Majumder, and Nate Sherer.


The IMV was founded in 1961 as the Biophysics Laboratory. The major focus of the Biophysics Laboratory was structural virology, stemming from the fundamental observation made by Paul Kaesberg in 1956 that viruses formed icosahedral virion particles.

Viruses and Virology

Viruses are biological obligate intracellular parasites that use the tools provided by their host cells to persist, replicate, and transmit to new hosts. Viruses infect living cells and convert them into environments suitable for either long-term habitation or acute amplification.

Virology is the study of viruses, which have coevolved with cells since the origins of life. They manipulate every cellular process from lipid and sugar metabolism to nucleic acid synthesis and degradation, from endocytosis and vesicular trafficking to migration and cellular or organismal self-defense. Thus, virology is the most interdisciplinary arena of all the biological sciences.

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