Biology

Susan Keenan

Susan Keenan

Susan Keenan

School Director, Associate Professor

School of Biological Sciences
Natural and Health Sciences

Contact Information

Phone
970-351-2510
Fax
970-351-2335
Office
Ross Hall, Room 2480c
Office Hours
By appointment
Mailing Address
501 20th Street, Greeley, CO 80639

Education

Professional/Academic Experience

This is the content region for Professional/Academic Experience.

Research/Areas of Interest

Much of the world population is socially and economically burdened as a result of mosquito-borne diseases. According to the CDC, in 2010 216 million cases of malaria were reported and over 650,000 people died as a result of this parasitic disease which disproportionally affects children and pregnant women. Unfortunately drug resistance has been observed against all currently used antimalarials including the last weapon in the world's drug arsenal, artemisinin combination therapy (ACT)—so unless novel drug targets are identified the impact of this devastating disease will rise. Flaviviruses are also transmitted by mosquitoes and we focus on a number of diseases caused by this family of viruses including yellow fever, Dengue Fever and West Nile. With more than a third of the world population at risk of infection by Dengue virus, the endemic nature of West Nile in the US and the serious morbidity and mortality that flaviviruses cause each year, it is devastating that there are currently no therapeutics clinically available for the treatment of any flavivirus disease.

In the lab, we combine molecular biological, pharmacological and computational modeling approaches to address problems linking protein structure with small molecule activity—that is to say we identify novel inhibitors that could one day be developed into drugs and used to treat these diseases. We focus on kinases and the flaviviral capping enzyme as novel targets for dug design and—and I am happy to say we are making progress.

I am currently recruiting a graduate student to work with the group—so please contact me if our work is of interest.

Publications/Creative Works

Peer-reviewed  research publications

(nameindicates a UNC graduate student as a co-author, name indicates a UNC undergraduate student as a co-author, * indicates corresponding author)