The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has awarded a total of $577 million to establish nine Antiviral Drug Discovery Centers for Pathogens of Pandemic Concern. Margaret Kielian, Ph.D., has received a three-year, $1.1 million grant for participating in the anti-viral drug center. Her laboratory will develop oral drugs against alphaviruses—disease-causing RNA viruses including chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and Eastern and Venezuelan encephalitis viruses for which no vaccines or anti-viral therapies are currently available.
Preliminary research has identified nucleoside inhibitors and other compounds that halted CHIKV RNA replication and prevented CHIKV from causing disease in mice. The Kielian laboratory will further study and develop those inhibitors, assess their effectiveness against other alphaviruses, and screen for new alphavirus inhibitors of RNA replication and of essential virus protease activities.
Dr. Kielian is professor of cell biology and the Samuel H. Golding Chair in Microbiology at Einstein (1 U19 AI171403-01).
Posted on: Wednesday, November 23, 2022