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As Dick Dietz set up telescopes, the professor of Astronomy and Physics hoped the weather would cooperate to allow viewing of an astronomical event that won't recur until 2117. Continue Reading
Professors at Colorado State University and the University of Northern Colorado are developing a drug that can stop replication of West Nile, dengue and yellow fever viruses - viruses that continue to plague two-thirds of the world's population with no clinically useful antiviral drugs available.
The research of Brian Geiss, assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology at CSU and Susan Keenan, associate professor and director of the School of Biological Sciences at UNC, appears this week online in the peer-reviewed Journal of Virology.
West Nile and dengue fever are vector-borne viral diseases - pathogens that can be transferred from an insect to a human - in a family of viruses known as the flaviviruses. The National Institutes of Health considers a number of flaviviruses priority pathogens because they cause life-threatening illness with few drugs or vaccines available and have the potential to be used as biological weapons.
More than two billion people are at risk globally of infection by dengue virus, and West Nile virus is endemic in 47 of the 48 lower United States. Dengue virus has re-emerged in southern Florida and Hawaii over the past few years. Worldwide, as many as 50 million dengue infections occur each year causing roughly 20,000 to 30,000 deaths.
Geiss and Keenan are developing a drug that can bind to a protein critical for viral replication and block the protein's function. The viral protein forms a structure on the genome called a "cap" that helps the virus make its replication proteins and protects the viral genome from being degraded in cells. Without this cap structure the virus can't make the proteins it needs to replicate and the viral genome will be destroyed by the cell.
The researchers screened large chemical libraries for molecules that inhibited this enzyme, then used computer modeling to identify molecules that were better able to bind the viral protein. One of the molecules they found was able to reduce virus replication in cells by more than 1,000-fold.
More work is ahead to improve the effectiveness of the drug now that they've confirmed it works in cells against several different viruses, Geiss said. Geiss and Keenan have filed a provisional patent with CSU Ventures to commercialize the technology.
"We're in the process of testing these drugs against a number of different flaviviruses and trying to improve how well it works in animal models, so there's a lot more work to get it to the point where it would be used as an investigational new drug," Geiss said. "However, this is an exciting new finding that has the potential to reduce the suffering caused by these serious pathogens."
Geiss' and Keenan's research is supported by the Rocky Mountain Regional Center of Excellence at Colorado State University - one of only 10 NIH supported centers nationwide aimed at developing novel therapeutics and diagnostics against emerging infectious diseases.
The 2012-13 undergraduate e-catalog is now available online.
For those who would like to print a PDF version or purchase a copy of the book itself, print versions are available
The 2011-12 and 2012-13 graduate e-catalogs will be available in the coming weeks, and will be announced in UNC Today.
UNC's Board of Trustees will meet at 8:30 a.m. Friday, June 8, in the Panorama Room at the University Center, intersection of 10th Avenue and 20th Street.
Action items on the agenda are the 2012-13 recommended budget as part of the university's multiyear planning; a new bachelor's degree in software engineering, which would require no additional instructional or technological resources, in response to current and future market demands; adoption of fiscal rules and an update to accounts receivable rules in accordance with Colorado Revised Statutes; and Faculty Senate amendments to board policy to: match the current academic structure, revise the academic appeal procedure, and clarify and remove unnecessary language in the sections on faculty contracts.
Holmes Dining Hall will be open daily June 3-Aug. 22 for breakfast (7-8:30 a.m.), lunch (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) and dinner (4:30-6 p.m.). The University Center Food Court will be open from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. weekdays June 4-Aug. 3 for lunch.
In addition, Einstein Bros. Bagels summer breakfast and lunch delivery program is back. You can pay with Dining Dollars, the Faculty Staff Payroll Deduction program, credit/debit card or cash. Ordering and delivery information, as well as a menu and order form are available here.
For other summer dining options on campus, visit Dining Services' website.
To celebrate the 35th anniversary of UNC's Summer Enrichment Program (July 8-21), SEP will offer a $300 scholarship (regularly $1,695) to children of UNC faculty, staff or enrolled UNC students.
SEP is a two-week residential program on campus for gifted, talented, creative and high ability learners (grades 5-10) who benefit from enrichment courses designed specifically for them. The program provides a positive, nurturing environment where they will be with other students who have the same needs, aspirations and abilities.
Please contact Carmen Holloway at 970-351-2683 or email@example.com for more information or to enroll. The enrollment deadline is Friday, June 15.
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