Antiviral Research Aims to Address Disease Resistance
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Antiviral Research Aims to Address Disease Resistance

April 2, 2024

Viruses are known to evolve by mutating rapidly and constantly challenge the drug therapies used to target them. According to Vicky Mody, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at PCOM Georgia, this makes drug discovery very interesting.

“Viruses constantly evolve and mutate,” Mody explained. “Drugs which were effective a year ago might be less effective today as viruses are developing resistance towards them.”

Mody is currently developing antiviral agents to target different types of virus such as COVID-19.

“Viruses are tiny organisms that are either DNA or RNA, which can be encased in a shell and replicate only in living organisms,” he stated. “They cause various diseases, such as the common cold and severe diseases like COVID-19, which can bring the world to a stalemate. Hence, there is a critical need to develop medications against this virus.”

Mody’s goal is to develop antiviral drugs that can specifically target and inhibit the replication of viruses and address resistance.

“My work is part of a larger effort to improve healthcare and protect individuals from viral infections, offering hope for better outcomes and a healthier future,” he added.

Mody teaches courses in infectious disease and biochemistry in the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program at PCOM School of Pharmacy.

“I constantly explain how viruses evade our immune system or what strategies we are using to develop new drugs,” he said. “In addition, I also use 100ns molecular modeling videos to show how certain drugs stay in the pocket of the viral protein to form a stable complex with them and inhibit their activity.”

According to Mody, PCOM has been very supportive of his pharmaceutical research efforts by providing seed grants and a nice research lab in which to conduct experiments. He also credited PCOM Chief Science and Research Officer Mindy George-Weinstein, PhD, and Dr. Avadhesh Sharma for their constant support in facilitating faculty research.

“I loved the science behind developing new medication,” Mody recounted. “Once COVID-19 came in, I knew this was a new field and would require a lot of attention.”

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