Bio-X Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Peter Kim's lab studying the mechanism of viral membrane fusion and its inhibition by drugs and antibodies. They use the HIV envelope protein (gp120/gp41) as a model system. Some of their studies are aimed at creating an HIV vaccine that elicits antibodies against a transient, but vulnerable, intermediate in the membrane-fusion process, called the pre-hairpin intermediate.

Dr. Kim's lab is also interested in protein surfaces that are referred to as "non-druggable". These surfaces are defined empirically based on failure to identify small, drug-like molecules that bind to them with high affinity and specificity. Some of their efforts are aimed at characterizing select non-druggable targets. They are also developing methods to identify ligands for non-druggable protein surfaces.