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ChemGen IGERT fosters cross-disciplinary interactions

Research Achievements

ChemGen IGERT fosters cross-disciplinary interactions

ChemGen IGERT fosters cross-disciplinary interactions in chemical biology to advance basic and applied research. As an example, fellow Samar Elkashef identified inhibitors of RNA silencing in ecdysozoans as potential deterrents for vector transmitted diseases. Screening of approximately 10,000 compounds identified five that inhibit RNA silencing in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster and in turn increased virus replication, which can result the death of these insects. All compounds identified in this screen can allow viruses, such as Flock House Virus and Cricket Paralysis Virus, to accumulate to levels that cause lethality in cell culture systems and whole animals. Also of note is that these compounds target different steps of the silencing pathway. The research combined biology and chemistry, overseen by virologist Shou-wei Ding and analytical chemist Yinsheng Wang. The project included participation of a NSF-REU student as well as a UC Mexus student.