Modulators of Nuclear Hormone Receptor Activity: Novel Compounds, Diverse Applications for Infectious Diseases, Including Anthrax (<i>B. anthracis</i>)

Nuclear hormones such as glucocorticoids dampen inflammatory responses, and thus provide protection to mammals against inflammatory disease and septic shock. The Anthrax lethal factor represses nuclear hormone receptor activity, and thus may contribute to the infectious agent causing even more damage to the host. This observation can be exploited to find new means of studying and interfering with the normal function of nuclear hormone receptors.

Diagnostics and Therapeutics for Hydrocephalus

Congenital hydrocephalus is a significant public health problem, affecting approximately one in 500 live births in the United States. Congenital hydrocephalus has an adverse effect on developing brain and may persist as neurological defects in children and adults. Some of these defects may manifest as mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and visual disabilities. Improved diagnostics are needed for assessing the risks of developing this debilitating disease.

Retinoids Can Increase the Potency of Anti-Cancer Immunotoxins

A unique method of potentiating the effect of anti-cancer immunotoxins has been developed, thus offering to significantly improve the treatment of a number of cancers as well as autoimmune diseases. Prolonged treatment of human cancers with classical methods such as radiation and chemotherapy, or a combination of both, may cause greater damage than the underlying disease because healthy tissue is often damaged along with diseased tissue.

P2Y14 Receptor Antagonists Containing A Biaryl Core

The technology discloses composition of compounds that fully antagonize the human P2Y14 receptor, with moderate affinity with insignificant antagonism of other P2Y receptors. Therefore, they are highly selective P2Y14 receptor antagonists. Even though there is no P2Y14 receptor modulators in clinical use currently, selective P2Y14 receptor antagonists are sought as potential therapeutic treatments for asthma, cystic fibrosis, inflammation and possibly diabetes and neurodegeneration.


The technology describes the composition of small molecule compounds that are antagonists of the P2Y14 receptor. Also provided are methods of using the compounds, including a method of treating a disorder, such as inflammation, diabetes, insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, a lipid disorder, obesity, a condition associated with metabolic syndrome, and asthma, and a method of antagonizing P2Y14 receptor activity in a cell.

One-step random amplification method to detect extremely low input nucleic acids for virome, microbiome, and metagenomics in clinical and biological specimens

Clinical and biological specimens often contain microbial nucleic acid in extremely low quantities, presenting a significant challenge for the detection of viral and bacterial pathogens. This also prevents direct sequencing of non-culturable samples using next-generation sequencing (NGS). Currently, NGS library preparation on most platforms requires 0.1 ng to 10 µg of DNA or cDNA, while microbial or viral nucleic acids in clinically relevant specimens, such as blood, serum, respiratory secretions, cerebral spinal fluid, and stool, often contain less than 0.1 ng.

Monoclonal Antibody to Detect the Antiretroviral Drug Emtricitabine – for HIV Drug Adherence Monitoring

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and World Health Organization (WHO) approved the antiretroviral drug emtricitabine (FTC)/ tenofovir disoproxil fumurate (TDF) combination for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in high risk populations. Efficacy of PrEP depends strongly on adherence to taking the FTC/TDF pill daily. In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1.2 million Americans will benefit from PrEP. FTC is also a key component of antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimens of HIV-infected persons and significantly associated with adherence.

Monoclonal Antibodies that Bind Zika Virus Envelope Protein for Zika Diagnostics and Research

Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other severe birth defects. The CDC Zika MAC-ELISA (IgM antibody capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) currently used for diagnosis detects antibodies produced to fight a Zika virus infection. However, reactivity of flavivirus antibodies (from exposure to other mosquito-borne infections such as dengue or West Nile virus) can complicate the interpretation of these results.

Cardiolipin Modification for Immunoassay Detection of Syphilis

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that remains a global health threat. Syphilis rates in the United States have also been increasing. Left untreated, syphilis infection can span decades and have serious complications including blindness, dementia and paralysis. Syphilis in pregnancy causes prematurity, low birthweight, neonatal death, and infections in newborns. Improvements in syphilis detection are needed to facilitate early diagnosis of active infections and monitor treatment with antibiotics.