I have a strong background in cell biology/biochemistry, with broad experience in basic and translational research in the fields of signal transduction (kinases), molecular regulation and re-engineering of “ion channels” (receptors) and/or “pores” and developing novel therapeutic approaches for cancer therapy or for treating genetic diseases involving ion channels. Over the past eighteen years, I have applied my wide experience and knowledge to developing, directing and implementing drug discovery efforts on bacterial and viral agents, as well as virulent factors such as toxins. As the Chief of the Department of Therapeutic Discovery, at USAMRIID, I have established a strong program to discover and develop therapeutics using the latest cutting-edge, industrial-scale technologies to screen, analyze and collect data that is useful for defining the cross-section between chemical space and biological activity.
To expand and strengthen my program to discover therapeutics, I was also instrumental in bringing together cell-based high-content imaging capabilities to allow investigators to initiate high throughput biology. These imaging platforms will further accelerate the search for undiscovered pathways and broad spectrum therapeutic compounds. In concert with the therapeutic program for biodefense pathogens, it is very crucial that we have a good understanding of the basic mechanism, critical pathways and molecular cascades that are modulated during disease pathogenesis. In collaboration with many talented scientists, my lab is investigating host-pathogen interactions using biochemical, biophysical, immunological and cell biological methods.
Although my research interests and collaborative ventures are diverse, they all share the common goals of: 1) identifying novel and druggable host targets and drug-like small molecules for therapeutic intervention and; 2) understanding the complex interaction between the host and pathogen (or its virulence factors), at both the cellular and molecular levels. My achievements in several important areas of scientific research have resulted in patent applications and publications in peer reviewed journals.