Costin-Ioan Popescu, PhD

Costin-Ioan Popescu
Group: Viral Glycoproteins
Department: Viral Glycoproteins

Scientific Researcher II

Research interests: The HCV group has been working on several research directions: a) virus- host interaction using a proteomic approach; b) drug discovery using high throughput screening; c) HCV vaccine design d) optimization of pathogen diagnostic methods.


Dr. Costin-Ioan Popescu is leading the Hepatitis C Virus group in the Department of Viral Glycoproteins of the Institute of Biochemistry of the Romanian Academy. Costin-Ioan Popescu defended his PhD thesis at University of Oxford studying the maturation and processing of viral and endogenous transmembrane glycoproteins in the endoplasmic reticulum. Costin completed his postdoc training at Institute Pasteur of Lille where he studied the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) morphogenesis process in ER.


  • Nedelcu I, Florian P, Ion D, Militaru E, Damalan A, Popescu CI, Hristea ANedelcu I et al . "Dynamics of serum cross-neutralization capacity against SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant in convalescent COVID-19 patients", Journal of medical virology 96(2): e29448, (2024)
    doi: 10.1002/jmv.29448
    IF: 12.70AI: 1.82
  • Codruta C. Popescu, Marius C. Stoian, Lia-Maria Cucos, Anca G. Coman, Antonio Radoi, Anca Paun, Niculina D. H˘adade, Arnaud Gautier, Costin-Ioan Popescu and Mihaela MatacheCodruta C. Popescu et al . "A polycarboxylic chelating ligand for efficient resin purification of His-tagged proteins expressed in mammalian systems", RSC Advances(10): 23931–23935, (2020)
    IF: 3.04
  • Ion GND, Nitulescu GM, Popescu CI.Ion GND et al . "Targeting TRAIL", Bioorg Med Chem Lett 18(29): 2527-2534, (2019)
    IF: 2.45


Identification of host factors involved in hepatitis C virus assembly and characterization of their potential role in vivo 2014
Project director: Costin-Ioan Popescu

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an important human pathogen that infects the liver and establishes chronic infection in the majority of cases, leading to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma over the course of many years. Despite recent progress, details of the HCV life cycle are still missing, with the HCV assembly process being particularly poorly understood.

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.

High-throughput screening platform for small-molecules with anti-inflammatory potential 2020-2022
Acronym: HTS-IL-1β
Budget: 600.000 RON
Project director: Marioara Chiritoiu-Butnaru

This project aims to develop a sensitive high-throughput screening platform by generating an endogenously tagged interleukin-1β reporter cell line by CRISPR-Cas9 technology, able to monitor stimulated IL-1β secretion with the purpose to identify new chemical compounds with anti-inflammatory activity that will be validated in primary macrophages and a mouse model for sepsis.

Real-time imaging of the viral modules during Hepatitis C Virus assembly 2014
Acronym: HCVAsmImage
Project director: Costin-Ioan Popescu

HCV is a major cause of chronic hepatitis worldwide. A better understanding of the HCV life cycle is needed to develop new treatments against this virus. A peculiarity of HCV is the crucial role played by both structural and non-structural proteins in the assembly process. Indeed, practically all HCV proteins have been shown to be involved in the virion assembly process. The present project aims to characterize the spatial and temporal relationship between all the viral proteins during viral assembly.