Innate Immune Adjuvant Discovery
The RIG-I-Like Receptors and Novel Innate Immune Pathways for Adjuvant Discovery and Development Program is focused on discovering and developing small molecule innate immune adjuvants that target either RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs) and pathways or novel innate immune factors and pathways, with the ultimate goal of enhancing immunity against RNA virus infection. RLRs are a family of cellular RNA helicases that function as innate immune receptors for specific RNA virus ligands. When activated, RLRs stimulate innate and adaptive immune responses. By targeting RLRs and their pathways, our goal is to discover and develop adjuvants that override virus countermeasures of RLR signaling; thus serving to stimulate, restore, and enhance innate antiviral immunity against pathogenic RNA viruses. Importantly, these compounds are also likely to display antiviral properties that are independent of an immunogen or vaccination strategy.