Dr. Nelly Panté studies the mechanism by which proteins and viruses get into and out of the cell nucleus. Molecular trafficking between the cytoplasm and the nucleus is a major and fundamental cellular activity. This process, known as nuclear transport, occurs through specialized multi-protein channels called nuclear pore complexes. Dr. Panté is best known for her work on the characterization of the structure, protein composition, and function of the nuclear pore complex.
For the past decade, she has used her expertise in the field of nuclear transport to study the mechanisms by which viruses enter the nucleus of their host cells. Interrupting the viral trip into the nucleus could prevent the virus from spreading. A detailed description of the process of viral nuclear transport is an important step to developing antiviral therapy. Dr. Panté is also characterizing infection with rodent parvoviruses, which are able to preferentially target and kill tumor cells and could provide safe and innovative tools for anticancer therapy.
With a BSc and MSc from Venezuela, Dr. Panté completed her PhD in Biophysics at Brandeis University, followed by postdoctoral studies at the University of Basel. After a few years as a group leader at the University of Basel and at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, she was recruited to UBC as an Assistant Professor in 2000, becoming Professor in 2009. At UBC she has developed a successful research program in Cell Biology and Virology, for which she won a Career Investigator Award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) in 2008.