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Seminar - Supramolecular Approaches to Design Novel Antivirals, with Professor Francesco Stellacci

Image: Prof. Francesco Stellacci
Prof. Francesco Stellacci

Date: 17 June 2020   Time: 15:00 - 16:30

We welcome Professor Francesco Stellacci, who pioneered much about the display of ligands on nanoparticles, presents a new approach to fighting viruses.

Please register at the Eventbrite link below.

Viral infections are among the main causes of death in the world. When prevention is not an option, antiviral drugs are the last resort to prevent the spread and the mortality of these infections. There are only a few effective drugs on the market, for the most part they prevent intracellular viral replication. Unfortunately, they are too few when compared to the many viruses that threaten humans.

In this talk, I will show a new design rule to achieve drugs that fight viruses extracellularly by irreversibly inhibiting their infectivity, i.e. I will show how to create virucidal compounds. The design of these macromolecular virucidal agents starts by a bio-mimic approach and is characterized by the limited toxicity towards host cells that one would expect from such compounds. Yet, I will demonstrate that the multivalent binding to the viruses, coupled with a large hydrophobic contact between the compounds and the virus leads to a loss of integrity of the virion that obviously leads to an irreversible loss of infectivity. Results in and ex-vivo will be illustrated especially for the cases of influenza, herpes, and respiratory syncytial virus.

Bio
Prof. Francesco Stellacci got his degree in Materials Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano in 1998 with Prof. Zerbi. He then moved as a post-doc with Prof. J.W. Perry in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Arizona. In 2002 he became as assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT (Cambridge, USA). There he became associate professor with tenure in 2009. In 2010, he moved as a full professor to EPFL where he holds the Constellium chair. Stellacci has published more than 130 papers and has more than 15 patent applications. He has won numerous awards, among the the Technology Review TR35 ’top innovator under 35’, the Popular Science Magazine ’Brilliant 10’, and the EMRS EU40. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, of the Global Young Academy, and of the European Academy of Sciences.

Location:  Online - register at link below
Contact:  Dr Stoyan Smoukov
Email:  s.smoukov@qmul.ac.uk
Website:  http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/eng-seminar-supramolecular-approaches-to-design-novel-antivirals-tickets-106756497558