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Cambridge Biosciences DTP PhD Programme


Department of Biochemistry


Julia completed her BSc at the Johannes-Gutenberg University of Mainz, and her MSc at the University of Cologne before she joined the Borodavka lab to undertake her PhD research. In her spare time, Julia enjoys to run and row around Cambridge.


Project Title:

Phase separation in viral replication

Project Summary:

A key process in the life cycle of many viruses is the formation of dynamic organelles called viral replication factories. These compartments concentrate viral replication enzymes and sequester replication intermediates from host immune sensors. My research project will focus on dissecting the physicochemical properties of these viral proteins to understand how their dynamic conformations and post-translational modifications mediate assembly of viral factories, and in doing so, identify targets for future therapeutic intervention.


Key publications: 

Geiger, F., Acker, J., Papa, G., Wang, X., Arter, W. E., Saar, K. L., Erkamp, N. A., Qi, R., Bravo, J. P., Strauss, S., Krainer, G., Burrone, O. R., Jungmann, R., Knowles, T. P., Engelke, H., & Borodavka, A. (2021). Liquid-liquid phase separation underpins the formation of replication factories in rotaviruses. The EMBO journal, e107711. Advance online publication. Bravo, J., Bartnik, K., Venditti, L., Acker, J., Gail, E. H., Colyer, A., Davidovich, C., Lamb, D. C., Tuma, R., Calabrese, A. N., & Borodavka, A. (2021). Structural basis of rotavirus RNA chaperone displacement and RNA annealing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(41), e2100198118.

Teaching and Supervisions

Research supervision: 

Dr. Alex Borodavka

Staff Photo

Job Titles

PhD Student