Structural-guide drug development to combat neglected and emerging diseases
Our scientific topic is based on neglected infection diseases with a major impact on Vector-borne diseases. The main focus are arboviruses such as Zika, Yellow fever, Dengue, Chikungunya, Mayaro, Oropouche, West-Nile, among others. Those arboviruses share some clinical signs and can be misdiagnosed in areas where they are common. The current COVID-19 outbreak brought us to work with SARS-COV-2 proteins, such as the Main protease, searching for a drug capable of blocking the effect of the SAR-CoV-2 replication. Another vector-borne disease in our timeline is Chagas disease; we aim to understand the relationship between the parasite (Trypanosoma cruzi) and the insect Triatoma infestans.
Our research is divided into two core areas: the understanding of the relation between the studied organism and the host cell, as well as the development of effective broad-spectrum antivirals, combining biochemistry, biophysics, molecular biology, microbiology, bioinformatics, and structural techniques.
Dr. Mônika Coronado and Dr. Raphael Eberle
- Structural Biology
Dr. Raphael Eberle
Building 05.2 / Room 2040
Rafaela dos Santos Peinado - PhD Student
Project: Metabolomic analysis of mammal cells infected by arboviruses such as Zika and Chikungunya by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. The project aims to understand the virus-host relationship as well as the metabolic effects caused by viral protease inhibitors.
Kelly Christine Borsatto - PhD Student
Project: The purpose is to understand the interaction of the Chagas Parasite with the Vector - Metabolic Profile using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance methodology.
Mohammadamin Mastalipour "Amin" - PhD Student
Project: Amin is searching for a D-peptide inhibitor against the nsP2 protease of Chikungunya virus and against the NSB2/NS3 protease of Zika virus capable of inhibiting virus replication. In his PhD project, he combines experimental techniques such as phage display, activity assay, SPR, DLS among others.
Carolina Gismene – PhD student (International exchange student from UNESP São Jose do Rio Preto, Brazil)
Project: During her time in our group, Carolina will perform experiments to identify potential peptide inhibitors of necrotic and epidermolytic activity of exfoliative toxin C from Staphylococcus sciuri.