Preventing the Next Pandemic

Viruses are everywhere: from the air we breathe to the pets and wildlife around us. But where some see only a potential threat to human health, Jennifer Golden sees the possibility of scientific breakthroughs.

Golden, an associate professor in the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy’s Pharmaceutical Sciences Division and associate director of the Medicinal Chemistry Center, designs novel drug-like molecules that interrupt viruses from copying themselves. When viruses can’t replicate, the host immune system has the chance to gain an advantage, mount a response, and clear the virus. As her team learns more about the types of molecules that are effective, they move closer to developing drugs that either prevent or treat viral infection.

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