J. Hearing

Associate Professor

Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Ph.D., Stony Brook University, 1984



(631) 632-8778
(631) 632-9162




Development of Antiviral Drugs to Combat COVID-19

Immunization is the front-line defense against viral infections, however antiviral drugs are also needed to prevent or treat disease caused by viruses for which a vaccine is not yet available and for individuals who have not been immunized or did not develop protective immunity following vaccination. Remdesivir, an adenosine analogue that inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication by causing premature chain termination of viral RNAs, is the only antiviral drug for COVID-19 patients in current clinical use but its clinical utility is modest, at best. Enormous effort is underway to identify additional antiviral agents that may be used alone or in combination therapy. In collaboration with other research groups in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, we are determining if interferon lambda can reduce morbidity and mortality in an animal model of infection. In a separate collaboration, we are testing candidate antiviral compounds for their ability to prevent proteolytic processing of the viral polyproteins by the viral protease Mpro and thereby inhibit viral replication at a very early stage.