Stanley J. Watowich, PhD

My research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms of virus assembly and virus-host cell attachment, with particular attention to RNA enveloped viruses such as hepatitis C (HCV), Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE), and encephalitic flaviviruses. In addition, my laboratory has developed a novel cell-based pathogen-selected antipathogen technology to rapidly identify compounds that inhibit cytolytic pathogen replication. We have determined the structures of VEE virus assembly intermediates, and are utilizing this information to design novel antiviral agents that disrupt VEE virus assembly. We have developed an in vitro assembly system for HCV nucleocapsids, and are looking to use this technology to develop HCV vaccines and antivirals. We have developed technology to generate recombinant attachment domains of flavivirus envelope proteins, work that may aid vaccine development. Finally, we are seeking to apply our cell-based pathogen-selected antipathogen technology to discover compounds effective against foot-and-mouth disease, rickettsial infections, and hemorrhagic fever viruses, as well as VEE and HCV viruses.

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