Flaviviruses, Henipaviruses, and Filoviruses are pathogenic and emerging RNA viruses that represent a
significant threat to U.S. and worldwide populations both as emerging infectious agents as well as their
inherent potential to be developed into bioterrorist weapons. This Program aims to develop effective
antiviral immunotherapeutic agents to enhance intracellular innate immunity and control infection by West
Nile virus, Dengue virus, Nipah virus, and Ebola virus. Our unique strategy targets the antiviral actions of the
cellular RIG-I-like receptor (RLR) pathway to induce the expression of innate immune antiviral effector genes
that suppress RNA virus infection.
We have identified candidate compounds for antiviral development, and have designed a program of study to advance these leads against
biodefense agents. A unique aspect of our work is the systems biology approach to define drug action and
pharmacologic properties, host and virus responses, molecular mechanisms of action, and antiviral efficacy of
compound classes within relevant challenge models of infection. These studies will facilitate the development
of antiviral immunotherapeutics for the protection of the general and at-risk
populations against the biothreat imposed by pathogenic Flaviviruses, Henipaviruses, and Filoviruses.