Stephen Cusack is a structural biologist who uses X-ray crystallography as his main tool. His principal interests lie in determining the structure–function relationships of protein–RNA complexes in gene expression, translation, innate immunity and viral replication. His major current focus is understanding the mechanism of negative-strand RNA virus polymerases, notably of influenza virus and bunyavirus.
Previous work on isolated domains of influenza virus polymerase involved in transcription by cap-snatching led him to co-found Savira Pharmaceuticals to pursue anti-influenza drug development. Recently, the crystal structure of the complete influenza polymerase has been determined together with bound viral RNA.
Since 1989, Stephen has been Head of the Grenoble outstation of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory. Prior to switching his interests to molecular biology, he graduated in physics and theoretical physics from the University of Cambridge and obtained a PhD in theoretical solid-state physics at Imperial College London. Stephen was elected to the European Molecular Biology Organization in 1998 and currently holds a European Research Council Advanced Award.
Head, EMBL Grenoble