Andrea Cuconati, Ph.D., has a primary background in molecular virology.
He earned his doctorate under the guidance of Dr. Eckard Wimmer at the
Medical School of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where
he worked on elucidating how the fungal toxin brefeldin A, an inhibitor
of cellular secretory transport, also inhibits the replication of poliovirus.
His doctoral work contributed to the understanding of the basic biology
of an important family of human pathogens.
Dr. Cuconati moved to a post-doctoral position in the laboratory of
Dr. Eileen White at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Center
for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine in New Jersey, where he helped
to elucidate the mechanisms by which the oncogenic proteins of adenoviruses
control the cell cycle and programmed cell death. His post-doctoral research
contributed to the overall model of how DNA viruses cause some types of
After joining ViroPharma, Inc., in Pennsylvania, Dr. Cuconati developed
and adapted several assays for industrial high-throughput screening (HTS)
of large compound libraries. During his time in industry, he led successful
efforts to discover drug candidates for the treatment of Ebola and Lassa
hemorrhagic fevers, two devastating diseases endemic to Sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr. Cuconati also contributed to drug discovery efforts for the treatment
of respiratory syncytial virus and rotavirus, the causative agents of
two common childhood illnesses. He is the author or coauthor of several
primary research papers and reviews, and has 12 years of post-graduate
experience in molecular virology and antiviral drug research.