Office of Research Host Factor Targeted Drug Discovery for SARS-CoV-2 Through an International Collaboration - Office of Research

Host Factor Targeted Drug Discovery for SARS-CoV-2 Through an International Collaboration

Host Factor Targeted Drug Discovery for SARS-CoV-2 Through an International Collaboration

The Office of Research and School of Medicine are offering a new series of forums to help researchers maximize their impact through team research.

Join us online, August 27, 2021, to learn about new advancements in targeted drug discovery for SARS-CoV-2.

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Speaker: Dr. Nevan Krogan
Professor, Cellular Molecular Pharmacology
UCSF School of Medicine

Date: August 27th 10:30-11:30 am


The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19 respiratory disease is evolving during the current pandemic.  New variants show enhanced replication and the potential to evade therapeutic antibodies.  In the near future, variants may even evade first generation vaccines.  The currently approved direct acting antiviral remdesivir targets the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase which is subject to rapid evolution as it is encoded by the viral RNA genome.  In order to develop therapeutic approaches which act in a pan-coronavirus manner we and our colleagues at the QBI Coronavirus Research Group (QCRG) have mapped the human proteins (host factors) which multiple Coronaviruses rely on for replication.  Through a rapid drug repurposing effort we have identified zotatifin, a clinical eIF4A inhibitor as a host factor targeted therapeutic.  Zotatifin which is based on the natural product rocaglamide A works as a molecular glue to trap eIF4A on its target, the (+) RNA viral genome.  Other examples of targeting essential host factors, including those for immune evasion will be discussed.

About the Speaker

Nevan Krogan, PhD, is a molecular biologist, UC San Francisco professor, and director of the intensely interdisciplinary Quantitative Biosciences Institute (QBI) under the UCSF School of Pharmacy. He is also a senior investigator at the Gladstone Institutes.

He led the work to create the SARS-CoV-2 interactome and assembled the QBI Coronavirus Research Group (QCRG), which includes hundreds of scientists from around the world. His research focuses on developing and using unbiased, quantitative systems approaches to study a wide variety of diseases with the ultimate goal of developing new therapeutics.

Nevan serves as Director of The HARC Center, an NIH-funded collaborative group that focuses on the structural characterization of HIV-human protein complexes. Dr. Krogan is also the co-Director of three Cell Mapping initiatives, the Cancer Cell Mapping Initiative (CCMI), the Host Pathogen Map Initiative (HPMI) and the Psychiatric Cell Map Initiative (PCMI).  These initiatives map the gene and protein networks in healthy and diseased cells with these maps being used to better understand disease and provide novel therapies to fight them.

He has authored over 250 papers in the fields of genetics and molecular biology and has given over 350 lectures and seminars around the world. He is a Searle Scholar, a Keck Distinguished Scholar, was recently awarded the Roddenberry Prize for Biomedical Research.

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