Short Report by Lorenz Beckmann: In silico Screening for Small Molecule Inhibitors against the Ovarian Tumor Protease of the Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus and Biochemical and Biophysical Hit Validation (August-October 2023)

/ November 14, 2023/ News, Research

It was the first time for me in the US and I had a lot of scientific and cultural experiences. Nashville is a vibrant city and definitely earns its name as “Music City”. Bars, live music, sports events… it does not get boring.  Besides that, Nashville is a growing place for cutting-edge biomedical research. Vanderbilt University (VU) hosts many groups working in this field and is nation-wide known for its research. For me as a young scientist, it was an invaluable experience to get insight into this institution.

The aim of my Ph.D. project is the discovery of small molecule inhibitors against the Ovarian Tumor (OTU) Protease of the Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus (CCHFV).VU hosts excellent facilities for drug discovery like high throughput screening and biomolecular NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) facilities. Using the computational resources of the group of Jens Meiler, we performed an in silico screening of the VU screening collection (ca. 98k compounds) and I tested 229 hits biochemically and by NMR. It was great to see how efficiently VU works providing scientists the opportunity to do qualitative research.

I am glad that I could meet a lot of different people during my stay in the US. During my trip to NYC, I came in contact with people from all over the world and from nearly everywhere in the US which gave me an idea about the US as a melting pot and broadened my personal view. I am very thankful to the Max Kade Foundation for giving me the opportunity to travel and work in the US.