Santseharay Ramirez Almeida

Santseharay Ramirez Almeida

Associate Professor

Primary fields of research

My research focuses on the study of RNA viruses, where I have made important contributions to the understanding of the adaptive evolution processes leading to antiviral resistance. I pioneered the development of efficient cell culture systems for studying hepatitis C virus (HCV), which have significantly contributed to high impact research. These systems have been critical for groundbreaking studies on antiviral activity and resistance performed by my host program. We showed proof-of-concept that HCV can develop resistance against the nucleotide analog (nuc) sofosbuvir, and that sofosbuvir exhibits a different barrier to resistance depending on the HCV genotype. This and other studies have been a paradigm shift in the field since it was theorized that the high barrier to resistance of sofosbuvir precluded the emergence of resistance. Nucs target conserved domains of viral polymerases which are essential enzymes involved in the replication of all viruses. For RNA viruses, nucs with broad-spectrum activity such as remdesivir are promising tools to combat epidemics and pandemics. One of the most relevant questions about these class of antivirals is if they will be able to neutralize the vast genetic evolution potential of viruses to evade antiviral strategies, or if in contrast, their broader spectrum comes at the cost of lower barrier to resistance? Currently, I lead a group within the Copenhagen Hepatitis C program (CO-HEP) studying the molecular mechanisms behind breadth of activity and barrier to resistance of broad-spectrum nucs using model viruses from different RNA virus families (Flaviviridae, Coronaviridae, Togaviridae). My goal is that this research can contribute to the development of better antivirals that can address the global challenge of ever evolving viral emerging diseases.

Current research

Development of cell culture systems for the study of viruses in vitro

Study of the molecular mechanisms of antiviral activity and resistance of broad-sepctrum nucleotide analogs across RNA viruses


Virology Courses (Øvelseskursus Virologi) for medical school students at PANUM, University of Copenhagen. (Since 2016).

Course In Immunology And General Microbiology (Modul: 3908-E16), Master in Human Biology, University of Copenhagen. (Since 2017).



Possible conflicts of interest


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