Student Scientist Searches for Therapeutics to Treat West Nile Virus

From Cal State Fullerton
February 2, 2021

With no treatment or cure for West Nile virus — spread through the bite of an infected mosquito — Cal State Fullerton undergraduate researcher Shaina Nguyen is working on creating new therapeutics to treat people infected with the disease.

“Hopefully, our research could provide possible drug therapeutics to stop West Nile virus,” Nguyen said.

Since her freshman year, Nguyen, a biochemistry major who is graduating in May, has worked in the lab of Nicholas T. Salzameda, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry. The researchers are seeking treatments since there is no vaccine or medications available for the mosquito-borne disease. 

In the ongoing study, the faculty-student research team is studying a viral protein for the West Nile virus, known as the NS2B-NS3 protease, which is responsible for producing viral particles for replication and is a promising therapeutic target in stopping infection, Nguyen said.

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