Season 1 – Episode 8 Could a Surface Science approach revolutionize antiviral drug development?

Viral outbreaks and cancer represent two of the world’s biggest health problems. Could a materials science and engineering approach be used to address these challenges in global health?

In this last episode of Season 1, of Science on surfaces - a bigger perspective on the small, we talk to Prof. Nam-Joon Cho, Nanyang Associate Professor at the School of Materials Science and Engineering at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Prof. Cho is leading the Engineering in Translational Science group, where they apply engineering strategies to solve challenging biomedical problems and to combat e.g. infectious diseases.

We start the conversation talking about the challenges of global health and Prof. Cho describes their surface science approach towards antiviral drug design, an approach which he believes could revolutionize antiviral drug development. He and his team have engineered an antiviral peptide that targets the Achilles heel of the Zika virus and other viral pathogens, such as hepatitis C, yellow fever and dengue. Prof. Cho talks about their published results on this drug candidate for therapeutic treatment of the Zika virus, as well as the work they are doing for early detection of circulating cancer tumor cells.

If you are interested in surface science and related topics, you should also check out our Surface Science blog