Barry R. O'Keefe, Ph.D.
Dr. O’Keefe is an expert in the screening of natural product extracts and the discovery of novel bioactive compounds. He has pioneered the discovery of biotherapeutics from natural products, especially in the area of antiviral proteins. He also specializes in the analysis and exploitation of protein-ligand interactions for both high-throughput screening and compound characterization.
As Director of the Molecular Targets Program and Chief of the Natural Products Branch, Dr. O’Keefe is integral in the NCI’s drug discovery efforts from natural product extracts.
1) natural products, 2) protein chemistry, 3) antiviral proteins, 4) biochemistry, 5) anti-cancer and anti-viral high-throughput screening, 6) drug discovery
Our research efforts are generally split into two study areas: 1) cell-free assay development and identification of active compounds from chemical and natural product libraries, and 2) the isolation and characterization of antiviral proteins from natural product extracts. In the first, our goals are to understand and define specific protein-ligand interactions and use that knowledge to adapt laboratory findings into both high-throughput screens and potential therapeutic discoveries. In the second, we carry out independent research on the discovery and characterization of novel antiviral proteins from natural products extracts. This research is necessarily multidisciplinary and collaborative both within the Molecular Targets Program, as well as the NCI, the NIH and with extramural collaborators interested in our scientific discoveries. Our group uses its expertise in protein chemistry, enzymology, molecular biology, natural products research and assay development to identify, isolate and biochemically characterize new bioactive moieties.
- J Nat Prod. 64: 1373-81, 2001. [ Journal Article ]
Isolation and characterization of griffithsin, a novel HIV-inactivating protein, from the red alga Griffithsia sp.J Biol Chem. 280: 9345-53, 2005. [ Journal Article ]
Identification of inhibitors for MDM2 ubiquitin ligase activity from natural product extracts by a novel high-throughput electrochemiluminescent screen.J Biomol Screen. 13: 229-37, 2008. [ Journal Article ]
Scaleable manufacture of HIV-1 entry inhibitor griffithsin and validation of its safety and efficacy as a topical microbicide component.Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.. 106: 6099-104, 2009. [ Journal Article ]
Broad-spectrum in vitro activity and in vivo efficacy of the antiviral protein griffithsin against emerging viruses of the family Coronaviridae.J. Virol.. 84: 2511-21, 2010. [ Journal Article ]
Dr. O'Keefe earned a Bachelor of Science degree in botany from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in pharmacognosy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. In 1994 Dr. O'Keefe joined the NCI Laboratory of Drug Discovery Research and Development to study novel proteins from natural products extracts. Dr. O'Keefe is currently Director of the Molecular Targets Program and Head of the Protein Chemistry and Molecular Biology Section. Dr. O'Keefe is also Chief of the Natural Products Branch, Developmental Therapeutics Program, Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, NCI.
|Tadeusz Guszczynski Ph.D.||Biologist|
|Lauren R. Haugh Krumpe M.S.||Research Associate II (Leidos)|
|Carter Mitchell Ph.D.||Postdoctoral Fellow (CRTA)|
|Shilpa Shenoy Kurian Ph.D.||Scientist II (Leidos)|
|Brice Wilson Ph.D.||Research Fellow|