Discovery Biology
Research & Technology
Applied Molecular Virology Lab
Research Interests

The Applied Molecular Virology Laboratory is interested in investigating the molecular virology of hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV & HCV). Specifically, we developed research tools and assays supporting high throughput screening (HTS) and mechanism of action (MoA) studies.

Utilizing the infectious HCV cell culture system, we screened more than 250,000 compounds, excluding viral RNA replication inhibitors and including HCV E1/E2 entry inhibitors. Through this, we were able to identify antivirals acting on viral entry and secretion. Notably, one compound series was found to exclusively inhibit HCV genotype 2, and studies are ongoing to map the genotype determining region and determine the MoA for this compound series.

Another compound series which inhibits major HCV genotypes is currently being characterized and a lead optimization program is being pursued with financial support from the Korea Drug Development Fund (KDDF). To date, state-of-the-art HCV therapies cost more than USD 100,000 (100 million KRW); this high economic burden limits patients’ access to therapies. Our research team is striving to identify affordable alternatives through screening and characterization of natural compounds, and we are seeking non-profit organizations to jointly develop drugs for patients in need.

We are also on a quest to identify and characterize drugs with a novel MoA, which could potentially cure chronic hepatitis B. In collaboration with a local lab and an international pharmaceutical company, we screened for pre-genomic RNA encapsidation inhibitors and immunomodulators that could restore innate immunity in chronically HBV infected hepatocytes. Furthermore, in collaboration with a German laboratory, we developed a robust infectious HBV cell culture system in 384-well plates suitable for HTS. With this cutting-edge technology, small molecule compound libraries are screened to identify and characterize inhibitors targeting HBV entry, capsid disassembly/trafficking, cccDNA synthesis, etc.

Meanwhile, with the re-emergence of the Ebola virus in Africa and the quick spread to other countries, this pathogen has been recognized as a global threat. In order to tackle Ebola, our team devised strategies to identify immunomodulators and replication and entry inhibitors. Currently, we are looking for external collaboration partners to develop HTS assays and to characterize identified hit compounds.

Members

Head

Kyuho Paul Park, Ph.D.

  • Doctorate: University Paris-Saclay, CNRS, Orsay, France (2004) (Supervisor: Alexandre Ghazi)
  • Post-Doctorate: Institut du Thorax, INSERM, Nantes, France (2004-2004) (PI: Denis Escande); Institut de Biologie Physico-Chimique, CNRS, Paris, France (2004-2006) (PI: Jean-Luc Popot); University Paris-Saclay, CNRS, Orsay, France (2007-2009) (PI: Alexandre Ghazi)
  • Senior Research Scientist (contract-based): Institut Pasteur, CNRS, Paris, France (2009-2014) (PIs: Felix Rey, Marie Flamand)
  • Invited Research Scientist: Institut Pasteur Korea, Dengue Research Lab (2015-2017)
  • Senior Research Scientist: Institut Pasteur Korea, Applied Molecular Virology Lab (2016-2017) (PI: Marc Windisch); Screening Discovery Platform (2018-2022) (PI: David Shum)
  • Acting Head, Applied Molecular Virology Lab, Institut Pasteur Korea (2022-Present)
+82-31-8018-8250
  • Eunji Jo

    Eunji Jo , MS

  • Gyeongeun Lee

    Gyeongeun Lee, MS

Selected Publications