Catalin Lazar, PhD

Catalin Lazar
Group: Viral Glycoproteins
Department: Viral Glycoproteins

Scientific Researcher II


Catalin Lazar is a researcher in the Institute of Biochemistry of the Romanian Academy. Catalin is currently working in Viral Glycoproteins in the Viral Glycoproteins.


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EEA Grants (2014-2021): Next Generation Viral Hepatitis B and C vaccine development in plants and algae using advanced biotechnological tools; ‘’Dezvoltare de vaccinuri de ultima generatie anti Virusurile Hepatice B si C in plante si alge, utilizand metode biotehnologice avansate’’ 2019-2023
Acronym: SmartVac
Budget: 1.500.000 EUR
Project director: Norica Nichita

We aim to produce high yields of novel HBV/HCV antigens with superior immunogenic properties in plants and mammalian cells, based on innovative molecular design and establish in premiere an advanced biotechnological platform for production of best vaccine candidates antigens in algae.

Molecular mechanisms of hepatitis B virus egress 2018-2020
Budget: 100.000 Euro
Project director: Catalin Lazar

Considering the molecular features of the secretory autophagy, on one hand and the enhanced HBV production by degradation-independent autophagy, on the other hand, we hypothesized that HBV employs this peculiar form of autophagy for its own egress. We further proposed that the M protein plays a pivotal role in tilting the equilibrium between viral degradation and secretion towards the latter, due to the presence of the preS2 domain glycan.

Human lactoferrin-derived peptides with broad spectrum antiviral activity 2017-2018
Budget: 133.300 Euro
Project director: Catalin Lazar

Lactoferrin (Lf), an immunomodulatory glycoprotein was shown to interfere with the life-cycles of many viruses. Our group has rationally designed and characterized the anti-HBV activity of an Lf-derived peptide containing one of the cationic clusters. This project proved the concept that the development of non-toxic, small Lf-derived molecule(s) with a broad-spectrum anti-viral activity may constitute a valuable, cheaper alternative to the current standard of care.

The role of the endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation in establishment of persistent Hepatitis B Virus infection 2013-2016
Acronym: HBVERAD
Budget: 174.400 Euro
Project director: Catalin Lazar

The objectives of this project aim to identify as many as possible cell proteins with a role in processing HBV envelpe proteins and to make a correlation between the HBV cccDNA which is the replicative form of the virus and the expression level of cellular proteins involved in the debradation of the HBV envelope proteins. The results will be confirmed in vivo using human hepatocytes explanted from the patiens chronically infected with HBV.

Degradation pathways of human hepatitis B virus envelope proteins 2010-2012
Acronym: -
Budget: 64.500 Euro
Project director: Catalin Lazar

Degradation of the viral proteins in infected cells is a way to avoid their aberrant accumulation, on one hand, and generate viral peptides, which will be presented at cell surface by the major histocompatibility complex, raising an immune response, on the other hand. In the case of HBV infection, accumulation of mutant viral proteins within the endoplasmic reticulum can result in a particular phenotype, characterised by a ground glass appearance of hepatocytes.