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Brett Lindenbach, Ph.D.

Brett Lindenbach
Associate Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis and of Comparative Medicine

Dr. Lindenbach is an expert on the Flaviviridae, a large family of enveloped, positive-strand RNA viruses, including several important human and animal pathogens. Dr. Lindenbach received his B.S. in Biology from the University of Illinois, and his Ph.D. in Immunology from Washington University in St. Louis. He completed postdoctoral studies with Dr. Paul Ahlquist at the HHMI/University of Wisconsin and with Dr. Charlie Rice at The Rockefeller University, where he developed the first robust cell culture model of hepatitis C virus. Dr. Lindenbach values a team-building approach to mentorship.

Overview of Current Project

There is a pressing need for antiviral compounds that target SARS-CoV-2 replication enzymes, not only to combat the current pandemic, but for future coronavirus outbreaks. A key impediment is the lack of a robust high-throughput viral replication assay with low biosafety requirements. We have developed SARS-CoV-2 replicons – fragments of the viral genome that replicate in cells but do not make infectious virus particles – and shown that they are useful for drug screening, dose titration, and drug synergy studies. We will complete optimization of second-generation replicons, conduct pilot screens, and validate assay scalability and robustness for large-scale screening.

Favorite Off-Time Activity

I like to cook, ride my bike, and spend time with my family. I used to enjoy travel, and hope to get back to it soon!

Best Advice for New Entrepreneurs

Developing a scientific concept into a product is very different from discovery-based research.