Chemical targeting of HDAC6 as a strategy for anti-viral drug discovery

The emergence of viral pandemics, exemplified by the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), has exposed the urgent need for the development of viral infection therapeutics. In a short span of time, more than 1.5 million individuals have been infected and there have been nearly 90, 000 deaths worldwide. Our objective is to pharmacologically validate a new strategy for viral infection therapeutics by designing molecules that inhibit HDAC6, a protein implicated in viral entry. To address our objective, we will develop and optimize chemical compounds that target HDAC6 activity and then we will test the effects of these compounds on coronavirus entry and their anti-viral effect in cells. With our research we hope to validate a novel strategy for the development of anti-viral therapeutics to benefit the research community and advance public health objectives during a pandemic.

Faculty Supervisor:

Matthieu Schapira


Mandeep Mann


Structural Genomics Consortium


Pharmacy / Pharmacology


Professional, scientific and technical services


University of Toronto



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