IMV Executive Assistant
tel. (612) 624-1926
fax. (612) 625-1108
18-242 Moos Tower
515 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Phone: (612) 625-7968
M.Sc., Warsaw Polytechnic, Warsaw, Poland, 1966
Ph.D., Polish Academy of Sciences, Lodz, Poland, 1979
Treatment of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia. Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is a cancer which can be difficult to treat. The cancer cells require a protein called IMP-dehydrogenase (IMPDH) for their uncontrolled growth, but two slightly different forms of the protein are made by human cells. The Type II form is produced in large amounts by CML cancer cells, while the Type I form, a "housekeeping" protein, is the primary form found in normal cells. Both forms require a general helper molecule called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) to carry out their function, but they have subtle structural differences which should make it possible to specifically target the Type II protein.
Antibiotics. We have two antibiotics projects. The first involves new treatments for tuberculosis, which is estimated to be present (usually in a dormant state) in one third of the global population. Activation of dormant tuberculosis infections can occur in patients with weakened immune systems, as in the case of AIDS.
Isoniazid (INH), an old "first line" treatment for tuberculosis, is a small molecule which reacts inside the bacteria, linking itself to the general helper molecule nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). The INH-NAD complex inhibits synthesis of the bacterial cell wall, preventing bacterial growth. Recent studies have shown that drug resistant tuberculosis does not carry out the reaction which links INH to NAD, and therefore cell wall growth is not blocked. We are preparing NAD analogs that mimic the properties of INH-NAD, which would bypass the need for the linking step inside cells. These molecules may be active against drug resistant tuberculosis.
Our second project is similar to the leukemia research described above. Substantial differences exist between the NAD binding site of human IMPDH and IMPDH enzymes from other organisms. We are using these differences to design inhibitors that will block activity of the IMPDH protein in disease-causing organisms without affecting human IMPDH. Target organisms include bacteria, fungi, and protozoa.
Antiviral agents. We continue our search for drugs, including nucleoside phosphonates, which prevent certain types of viruses from making copies of their genetic material. We are also synthesizing analogs of mycophenolic acid (MPA) as potential anti-viral drugs. MPA is one of the most effective agents against the West Nile virus, but we hope to improve its properties.
'Wisc-e-sota', the 1st Joint UMN-UW Virology Training Grant Symposium will be held on Friday, Sepbember 20th, 2013 at the Uniiversity of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Cartwright Center. This is the inaugural collaborative symposium of the NIH T32-supported virology training programs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Talks and poster sessions will be presented by students, postdocs and faculty.
The 2013 IMV Symposium was held in May, 2013 and featured Vincent Racaniello as the Keynote Speaker as well as the recording of an episode of 'This Week in Virology'. Pictures from the IMV Symposium can be found on the IMV Facebook page and a videotape of the TWiV podcast can be viewed at www.twiv.tv
Read about bacteriophage phi 29 and why it matters.
Explore nearly a century's worth of discovery in the field of virology at the University of Minnesota.
"This Week in Virology" from professor Vincent Racaniello.