College of Pharmacy
These researchers' main interests are identifying anti-viral drug targets for major human pathogens and evaluating small molecules for their ability to inhibit those targets and virus replication. They employ four main approaches to uncover small molecules that inhibit the replication and pathogenesis of viruses:
- Conduct phenotypic screens to evaluate anti-viral activity of small molecules
- Collaborate with medicinal chemists, computational chemists, and structural biologists to rationally design small molecule inhibitors of established and novel viral drug targets
- Design and implement high throughput screening to identify small molecules that inhibit known and novel viral drug targets
- Understand mechanism of effect of small molecule inhibitors
Passage of virus in the presence of inhibitors will generate resistant virus and the researchers can sequence viral genomes to understand which viral gene products are important for inhibition and aspects of those proteins that interact with inibitors. They use MSI resources to help analyze large amounts of nucleic acid sequence data to understand how inhibitors function. In addition, the researchers are developing reagents to understand replication of RNA viruses such as coronaviruses and to screen for coronavirus inhibitors. They have used MSI resources previously to analyze the nucleic acid sequence data from a candidate viral repicon and are continuing that analysis.