Fungi cause more than 90% of crop diseases; viruses or bacteria cause more than 90% of human infectious diseases. Fungal diseases in humans are often serious and deadly. The need for novel antiviral and antibiotics continues to grow as resistance to existing treatments increases in human and animal populations. Likewise, effective fungicides to treat fungal diseases—either for plants or animals—do not currently exist.
Researchers within the USTAR-funded Synthetic Bioproducts Center at USU conduct antimicrobial research and development activities to combat limitations of current therapeutic treatments for fungal, bacterial and viral disease. The research thrusts within the SBC antimicrobial research group are threefold.
Combining synthetic biology and chemical syntheses, SBC researchers Jon Takemoto, Tom Chang and Jixun Zhan, are developing effective pharmacological antivirals and fungicides with new mechanisms of action for treatment of human and animal infectious diseases. Research funding from the NIH supports this project.