Dr. Dusan Bogunovic ’04, pioneer developing world’s first broad-spectrum antiviral drug, to speak at UB

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Alumnus Dr. Dusan Bogunovic ’04, whose pioneering explorations into the world of immunogenetics are creating unprecedented ways to fight a wide spectrum of notoriously stubborn viruses, will return to the University of Bridgeport to address the UB Biology Club at 12:20 p.m., Wednesday, March 1 in room 107, Dana Hall.

His one-hour presentation, “Genetics and Immunology,” will be held in Dana Hall, room 107.

It is free and open to the public.

Dr. Bogunovic is an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City. His research focuses on individuals with unusual clinical manifestations, such as infections or auto-inflammation, as a means to understand human immunology.

It has attracted considerable attention.

In 2015, Dr. Bogunovic won a Milstein Young Investigator Award. Milstein Awards are given to individuals who have made an impact on interferon and cytokine research early in their careers. American Society for Microbiology presented him with its ICAAC Young Investigator Award in 2016.

More recently, Scientific American magazine included Dr. Bogunovic in its December 2016 cover story, “Top 10 Advances,” saying research at his lab was among ”ten world-changing ideas” that have the power “to bend history.”

Dr. Bogunovic’s work focuses on viruses, like herpes, Ebola, or Zika, which all too frequently outwit man-made drugs and on a rare gene mutation (gene ISG15) that holds an exceptional power to beat them.

The mutated ISG15 gene is found in one out of every 10 million people, but Dr. Bogunovic’s lab believes it can create an antiviral drug that mimics the mutation, and it is screening millions of molecules to develop a breakthrough cure. If successful, the antiviral drug would be the world’s first broad-spectrum drug with the power to beat any virus.

Dr. Bogunovic earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Bridgeport and a PhD in Immunology and Molecular Oncology from NYU School of Medicine. He performed his postdoctoral training at the Rockefeller University in New York.

His lecture is being hosted by the UB Biology Club.

Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625, lgeary@bridgeport.edu

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