Dr. Chanda studies how viruses infect their hosts. In particular, the laboratory is interested in HIV and influenza A. Viruses have a very small genetic payload, but make up for that shortcoming by hijacking our cellular machinery. In other words, they must co-opt proteins in our own cells and use them to survive. By identifying which of our proteins help these viruses enter cells, replicate and perform other functions, we can develop new drug targets. This is significant because viruses are designed to mutate and thus escape treatments that specifically target the virus. By targeting our own cellular machinery, we lessen the likelihood of a mutation nullifying a proven drug.
Dr. Chanda has led two studies that have identified numerous host proteins that play a role in influenza A and HIV infection. The Chanda laboratory is building a comprehensive cellular roadmap of the proteins influenza and HIV exploit to grow and reproduce within a cell. These studies are expected to provide unprecedented insights into the molecular circuitry commandeered by these pathogens to establish infection, and will offer new opportunities to develop next generation antivirals.
Dr. Chanda earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2001, and received his post-doctoral training at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF). He subsequently established his research group in the Division of Cellular Genomics at GNF. In 2007, he joined the Infectious and Inflammatory Disease Center at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. Dr. Chanda also holds an adjunct professor appointment at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, as well as a visiting scientist positions at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation and the Scripps Research Institute.
August 16, 2010 "NIH awards $21 million grant to study early stages of HIV-1 infection"