The California Center for Antiviral Drug Discovery (CCADD) is a multi-campus research organization of University of California scientists. The Center’s goal is to utilize “cutting edge” basic research to identify novel drug targets against a wide variety of RNA viruses. RNA viruses are the causative agents in a number of human and animal diseases. Examples include poliovirus (the causative agent in paralytic polio), coxsackievirus (the causative agent in a number of diseases), rhinovirus (a causative agent of the common cold), hepatitis C virus (a causative agent of hepatitis), West Nile Virus (a causative agent in brain infections), and human immunodeficiency virus (the causative agent in the acquired immune deficiency syndrome, AIDS). While there are drugs that can be used to treat HIV infection, the other viruses are largely untreatable.
Members and Affiliated Institutions
The CCADD is administratively based at UC Irvine, with the majority of investigators located on the UCI campus. These include the laboratories of:
W. Edward Robinson, Jr (Director of the CCADD – HIV)
Bert Semler (Director of the UCI Center for Virus Research – poliovirus, coxsackievirus, rhinovirus)
Michael Buchmeier (West Nile virus, coronaviruses)
A. Richard Chamberlin (Director of the Organic Synthesis facility – small molecule synthesis)
Thomas Poulos (protein chemistry, crystallography)
Gregory Weiss (phage display, HIV)
Additional investigators are located at UCLA:
Asim Dasgupta (Hepatitis C virus, poliovirus)
Jerome Zack (Director of the Center for AIDS Research – small animal models, HIV)
And at UCSF:
Raul Andino (poliovirus)
Alan Frankel (HIV)
The CCADD allows for close collaboration between Center investigators, resulting in a synergy of research efforts that should lead to promising new antiviral drug discoveries. Additionally, CCADD investigators have close interactions with other critical units of the University of California system. These include the Center for Virus Research and the Organic Synthesis Facility at UCI; the Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) and the UCLA AIDS Institute at UCLA; the Small Molecule Discovery Center (SMDC) at UCSF and the Collaborative Research Center at UCSF and UC Berkeley for HIV Accessory and Regulatory Complexes (HARC).
In addition to the existing collaborative relationships and the goals of developing promising lead molecule inhibitors of RNA viruses, the intermediate and long-term goals of the CCADD are to develop lasting collaborative relationships with the Clinical and Translational Research Centers at each of the campuses:
Such relationships will facilitate the rapid movement of basic science findings into new and novel therapeutic options for individuals infected by RNA viruses.
The image seen in the header was provided by Alan Frankel and represents HIV RNA bound to a Rev oligomer bound to the host export complex.