Innate Immune Antivirals for Biodefense

The Gale Lab is collaborating with laboratory leaders in the fields of virology; antiviral immunity; biodefense; pharmaceutics and antiviral therapy featuring academic and industry partners.

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.