Dennis C. Liotta, PhD

Professor

Chemistry

ARTDTP Research Discipline

Work on anti-infectives in the Liotta laboratory attempts to build on the prior successes they have had at developing nucleoside analogs for the treatment of HIV and Hepatitis B infections (e.g., the discovery of Epivir and Emtricitabine). The projects being pursued fit into three general categories: (1) the design, synthesis and evaluation on cyclobutyl nucleoside analogs as potential anti-HIV agents; (2) the design, synthesis and evaluation of 2’-fluoro-2’deoxy nucleoside analogs as potential inhibitors of the RNA- dependent RNA polymerase of multiple viruses including the HCV, influenza, RSV, Dengue Fever and West Nile; and (3) the preparation and evaluation of novel, lipid-based prodrugs of nucleoside analogs that can achieve targeted tissue distribution and high intracellular nucleoside triphosphate concentrations. In each of these projects they (whenever possible): (1) utilize molecular modeling techniques to identify potentially potent nucleoside analog triphosphates; (2) develop new or refine existing synthetic methods for preparing nucleoside analogs; (3) evaluate the intracellular nucleoside analog triphosphate concentrations (and, where appropriate) the metabolism and pharmacokinetics of the analogs; and (4) assess improvements in the antiviral profiles of lipid conjugates relative to the parent nucleoside analogs, as well as determine any increases in the tissue distribution of the conjugates into viral sanctuaries. Finally, through the efforts of Dr. Dennis Liotta, the Emory Institute of Drug Discovery (EIDD) has established the Emory-South Africa Drug Discovery program. This unique exchange program offers many short-term (1-3 month) educational and mentored-research possibilities for US and South African postdoctoral and junior faculty Please note that the EIDD is a training site for postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty and is not financed by NIH training grant support. 

ARTDTP Faculty Collaborators

Mary R. Galinski, PhD

Raymond F. Schinazi, PhD

David S. Weiss, PhD