Faculty A-Z

John Law

Assistant Professor Ph.D.

BioMedical Sciences

(709) 864-3334


Faculty of Medicine, Division of Biomedical Sciences,
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Health Sciences Centre H3307,
300 Prince Phillip Dr. St. John's, NL Canada, A1B 3V6

Research Interest and Current lab projects:

Our laboratory focuses on Virus-Host interaction. In particular, we are characterizing the humoral response to surface glycoproteins E1 and E2 of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). These proteins are the main vaccine target of HCV to induce protective antibodies preventing infection. Since HCV is a diverse virus divided into many genotypes, the ability to induce a broad cross-genotype response is critical for protection. The goal of our research is to understand the mechanism of antibody-mediated neutralization. We are characterizing method(s) to generate cross-neutralizing antibodies, a necessary step toward a prophylactic HCV vaccine.

Another virology project in the lab is focused on the replication of Calicivirus, a family of non-enveloped positive-strand RNA viruses. This family of viruses is found in many animals and divided into at least five genera: Noro-, Sapo- Lago-, Vesi- and Nebo-viruses. Humans are susceptible to infection of certain geno-groups of noroviruses causing acute gastroenteritis. Replication of these viruses is poorly understood due to difficulties in growing them in tissue culture. We are developing tools to study the virus in the lab and in turn to understand host proteins that are involved in the virus life cycle.

Selected publications:

Law JLM*, Logan M.*, Joyce M.*, Landi A., Hockman D., Crawford K., Johnson J., LaChance G., Saffran H., Shields J., Hobart E., Brassard R., Arutyunova E., Pabbaraju K., Croxen M., Tipples G., Lemieux MJ, Tyrrell DL. & Houghton M. SARS-COV-2 Recombinant Receptor-Binding-Domain (RBD) Induces Neutralising Antibodies Against Variant Strains of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1. Vaccine. 2021 Sep 24;39(40):5769-5779.
* These authors contributed equally to this work.

Johnson J, Freedman H, Logan M, Wong JAJ, Hockman D, Chen C, He J, Beard MR, Eyre NS, Baumert TF, Tyrrell DL, Law JLM, Houghton M. A Recombinant Hepatitis C Virus Genotype 1a E1/E2 Envelope Glycoprotein Vaccine Elicits Antibodies That Differentially Neutralize Closely Related 2a Strains through Interactions of the N-Terminal Hypervariable Region 1 of E2 with Scavenger Receptor B1. Journal of Virology. 2019 Oct 29;93(22).

Law J.L.*, Razooky B.S. *, Li M.M.H., You S., Rice C.M. and MacDonald M.R. The inhibitory effects of zinc-finger antiviral protein, ZAP, are dependent on its localization to stress granules. PLOS Pathogens. 2019 May 22;15(5):e1007798 * These authors contributed equally to this work.

Law J.L.*, Logan M.*, Wong J. Hockman D., Landi A., Chen C., Kundu J., Crawford K., Wininger M., Johnson J., Prince C., Dudek E., Houghton M. Removal of an immune masking domain, Hypervariable region 1 (HVR1) of HCV glycoprotein E2, does not enhance immunogenicity of glycoprotein based HCV vaccine. Journal of Virology. 2018 May 14;92(11)

Law J.L., Logan M. , Landi A,, Tyrrell D. L. and Houghton M. Progress Toward HCV Vaccine Approval. Canadian Liver Journal. 2018, Volume 1 Issue 3, pp. 130-138