Timothy M. Block, PhD
Ph: (215) 489-4900
(1982) Postdoctoral Fellow Princeton University
(1979) Ph.D State University of New York at Buffalo
Appointment at the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute: Co-founder of the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute; Professor and Chair, Department of Translational Research
Other appointments: Adjunct Professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Drexel University College of Medicine. President: Hepatitis B Foundation and Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center
Research interest: Molecular mechanisms of viral persistence and development of therapeutic strategies for hepatitis B virus (HBV), filoviruses
Research staff: Working closely with Prof. Tianlun Zhou and Jinhong Chang and other faculty at the Blumberg
The Baruch S. Blumberg Institute (BSBI) is studying chronic viral diseases. Most of BSBI’s work is in the area of hepatitis B and C and liver cancer. With a glycobiology research theme, the team searches for antiviral agents and their mechanism of action (two of our discoveries have led to therapies now in human clinical trials); for biomarkers of disease, using glycoproteomics (two of our discoveries have led to biomarkers being tested in people for the early detection of liver and colorectal disease); and to understand disease by examining the role of protein folding in antigen presentation and how the viruses antagonize and oppose the host innate immune system.
Dr. Block and the Blumberg faculty are also actively pursuing new therapeutics for the management of hepatitis B, by developing new assays and implementing new screens, using our compound library and natural products collection.
In particular, BSBI is screening for and evaluating new inhibitors of HBV cccDNA as well as HBV sAg. We are also using combination screening approaches, early in discovery.
BSBI is also actively investigating and developing a group of broad-spectrum antiviral iminosugar compounds that act upon the cellular glucosidase and, hence, viral glycoprotein processing pathways. In addition to maximizing the potency and minimizing the toxicity of these compounds, we are also further investigating their mechanism of action both in tissue culture and in animal models.
We recently started a high-throughput screening effort using West Nile Virus replicon cells to screen for novel small molecule antivirals inhibiting the viral RNA replication as well as boosting host cell innate immune system. The hits from the screen will be triaged by their activity, specificity, toxicity, mode of action, chemical development and more.
The BSBI labs work in close collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania, University of Oxford, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Drexel University College of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Harvard Medical School and other for profit and nonprofit research organizations.
Molecular mechanisms of viral persistence and development of therapeutic strategies for management of hepatitis B virus (HBV)
View Dr. Block's publications on Google Scholar.← Back to Principal Investigators