Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Southern Research Institute
2000 Ninth Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35205
Dr. Noah works with multiple programs in infectious disease research at Southern Research. These include high-throughput assay development with the NIH Molecular Libraries and Imaging Program and his own research program that investigates how the influenza virus interacts with host cell factors. He is also an adjunct faculty member at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. His research projects are focused on developing new drugs for the treatment of viral and bacterial infections.
He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 1999 from North Carolina State University, where he studied the structure of the bacterial ribosome, function of catalytic RNA, and the effect of antibiotics on both. After postdoctoral studies, during which he studied transposable intron RNAs for use as gene therapy vectors and diagnostics at The University of Texas at Austin (under the tutelage of Dr. Alan Lambowitz), Dr. Noah joined the staff at Southern Research.
He has industrial experience in assay development in GLP and GMP facilities, research experience in enzyme kinetics, structure determination, and RNA-protein interactions, including investigating these interactions using photochemistry, mass spectrometry, and atomic force microscopy. In addition, he has government and commercial experience in antiviral discovery and evaluation through high-throughput screening. This work has led to a total of 25 publications in peer-reviewed journals, three book chapters/reviews, and two patent applications.
In addition to grant-based research, Dr. Noah conducts in vitro contract and developmental research for biotech and pharmaceutical companies to assist them in their research efforts. He has served on peer review panels for the National Institutes of Health and is a frequent referee for the journals Antiviral Research and the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, where he reviews manuscripts that involve the development of potential antivirals.
Dr. Noah is currently working to develop and validate several in vivo and in vitro high-throughput assays for viral and bacterial diseases, including both human and highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) strains and Salmonella enterica. Assay applications include diagnostic, antimicrobial, or vaccine evaluations. The influenza assays are crucial to identifying new compounds with antiviral properties or that may act as molecular probes of the complex life cycle of the influenza virus. The adaptation and validation of the proposed influenza assays for HTS has the potential to vastly increase the arsenal of existing antiviral drugs available to rapidly combat an influenza epidemic or pandemic. With the emergence in 1997 of HPAI viruses that are directly transmittable to humans, many investigators feel that a new influenza pandemic is imminent. Specific assays adapted for high-throughput screening include a broad cell viability assay and mechanistic assays for viral neuraminidase and M2 channel function.
Dr. Noah also has a secondary associate faculty appointment at The University of Alabama at Birmingham in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. He has an active research program in novel antiviral discovery and the interactions of viral and host proteins. Specific projects include the study of human host factors as targets for antiviral intervention and the functions of the influenza M2 ion channel in the host cell.
Commercial Screening Opportunities
Dr. Noah also routinely performs high- and low-throughput evaluations of promising commercial antivirals using the variety of primary and secondary assays developed at Southern Research. These can be performed in our BSL-2 laboratories or in our enhanced BSL-3 laboratories.