Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Southern Research Institute
2000 Ninth Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35205
Dr. Noah is the Manager of Virology in the Drug Discovery Division and is also an adjunct faculty member at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. 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.
Dr. Noah has both drug discovery and basic research programs in infectious disease research that focus on developing new antimicrobial drugs. His discovery programs encompass target identification and validation, high-throughput screening assay development, and mechanistic characterization of potential therapeutics. His NIH-funded research program investigates how multiple RNA viruses (Influenza, RSV, Dengue, Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis, and SARS) interact with host kinases to promote their own replication and spread. Lastly, he is a Subject Matter Expert for biological WMD for a Defense Threat Reduction Agency-sponsored Biological Threat Reduction Integrating Contract for former Soviet Union countries.
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 32 publications in peer-reviewed journals, three book chapters/reviews, and two patent applications. He has served on peer review panels (Biodefense and Microbial Vaccine Development) for the National Institutes of Health and is a member of the editorial board for the journal Antiviral Research. He is also an ad-hoc reviewer for the Journal of Biomolecular Screening, PLOS One, the Journal of Infectious Disease, American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, and the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.
During viral infection of human cells, host cell kinases are essential for viral propagation, and are therefore logical antiviral drug targets. Research efforts in this direction are handicapped by our poor understanding of host kinase regulation during infection and because researchers continue to use single virus models to study host kinases without systematically comparing different viruses. Our innovative solution is to probe human host kinase regulation using multiple virus infection models, high-throughput screening tools, and kinase-targeted small molecule libraries. Putative and known kinase inhibitors that affect the ability of viruses in infect, replicate, and spread are investigated as potential antiviral drugs and probes. The immediate impact may be the discovery of broad antiviral therapeutics. The long-term, primary impact will be the generation of a chemogenomic map illustrating how human kinase pathways change during infection with closely related but distinct viruses. The information linking inhibitors, kinase pathways, and viruses will form a powerful and indispensable chemogenomic tool that complements current -omics maps.
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.