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McNair Scholars Program

Louie Cabrera

he/him

Education: Majoring in microbiology

McNair Project: SARS-CoV-2 Drug Molecules Binding Design (2020)

Mentor: Ho-Leung Ng, Ph.D.

Due to the outbreak of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the urgency of finding a resolution for COVID-19, it has become a top priority to find a possible solution such as an antiviral drug. The virus spreads using 3C Protease enzymes, which serve the function of replicating the virus. In Dr. Ho-Leung Ng’s lab, we are looking at the use of different compounds that could potentially become an inhibitor for these enzymes. This will stop the replication function, which will eventually stop the virus.  In Dr. Ng lab we are invested in one compound known as GC-37 that could potentially be an inhibitor for the enzymes. GC-376 is a dipeptide, At Dr. Ho-Leung Ng’s lab we are seeking to make GC-376 more potent, more metabolically stable, to improve its oral absorption, and to decrease its potential toxicity. This will allow GC-376 to fight virus replication and hopefully stop COVID-19 from spreading.

McNair Project: SARS-CoV-2 Protease Drug Inhibitor (2021)

Mentor: Ho-Leung Ng, Ph.D.

Due to the outbreak of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the urgency of finding a resolution for COVID-19, it has become a top priority to find a possible solution such as an antiviral drug. The virus take over the cell and begins to use an enzyme called 3C Protease, which serve the main function of replicating. In Dr. Ho-Leung Ng’s lab, we are looking at different warheads on dipeptide compound, which would be potentially an inhibitor for 3CL Protease if the data corresponds. We expect the catalytic Cystine-145(cys145) of the enzyme to react with our warhead that would conduct as electrophilic and the Cys145 to be the nuke. Thus, will stop the replication function, which will eventually stop the virus by preventing the 3CL Protease to preforming it main function. In Dr. Ng lab we are invested in altering a compounds known as GC-37 that could potentially be an inhibitor for the 3CL-Protease. GC-376 is a dipeptide, At Dr. Ho-Leung Ng’s lab we are seeking to make GC-376 more potent, more metabolically stable, to improve its oral absorption, and to decrease its potential toxicity. This will allow GC-376 to fight virus replication and hopefully stop COVID-19 from spreading.