The Waldman lab is currently engaged in active, funded research projects in the areas of antiviral drug discovery and environmental toxicology as summarized here.
Antiviral drug discovery and pre-clinical development: We have discovered that the anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive drug, leflunomide, exerts potent antiviral
activity against several clinically significant pathogenic viruses including cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex (HSV), polyomavirus BK (BKV), and respiratory
syncytial virus (RSV). Unlike most antiviral drugs, leflunomide does not inhibit viral genomic nucleic acid synthesis. Rather it appears to target some other
stage of the viral life cycle (in the case of CMV, phosphorylation of viral structural proteins and subsequent virion assembly). We are currently investigating
molecular mechanisms underlying the antiviral activities of this agent, including the identification of cellular pathways which are perturbed by leflunomide and
which may be essential in infectious virus production. In addition we continue to test this drug against other viruses.
Environmental toxicology: In collaboration with investigators in the OSU Department of Chemistry and at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, we
are studying the chemical and biological activity of airborne nanoparticulates, correlating cellular toxicity and inflammatory responses with specific physicochemical
properties of the particulates. In addition we are investigating mechanisms of nanoparticulate cellular internalization and intracellular trafficking, as well as routes
of particulate dissemination and sites of accumulation in vivo following inhalation exposure.