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Biologic and Materials Sciences and Division of Prosthodontics

Drach Lab

Dr. Drach's research interests are the discovery, mode of action, and metabolism of antiviral drugs. The overall objective of his research group's work is to identify new compounds which have the potential to become useful antiviral drugs and to investigate how promising compounds act at the cellular, molecular, and biochemical level. Studies involve the discovery of new antiviral drugs by in vitro testing and biochemical screening, investigation of the mode of action of new compounds, and how antivirals are metabolized in uninfected and virus-infected mammalian cells. Viruses of interest include herpes simplex viruses types l and 2, human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), human herpes virus 6, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and poxviruses. Emphasis is on understanding the molecular basis for the activity of new compounds using virus strains which are resistant to active compounds. New virus strains are characterized both phenotypically and genotypically. Using drug resistance as a marker, genes are identified which have mutated to give the drug resistant virus. Identification of such genes provides detailed understanding of antiviral drug action as well as fundamental knowledge of viral replication.

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