Haydar Bulut, Ph.D.
- Center for Cancer Research
- National Cancer Institute
- Building 10, Room 5A11
- Bethesda, MD 20892
Dr. Bulut's research focuses on designing and further optimizing small-molecule inhibitors that can effectively target viral proteins to block viral replication. As a Staff Scientist at the National Cancer Institute (NCI/NIH), he has been deeply engaged in collaborative efforts with a diverse team of researchers dedicated to discovering and developing potent inhibitors that target HIV and SARS-CoV-2. Using X-ray-based structural information, Dr. Bulut has provided crucial insights into viral proteases at the atomic level, which has enhanced the optimization and development of these therapeutic interventions against HIV and COVID-19.
Areas of Expertise
HIV/AIDS | SARS-CoV2 | Protease Inhibitors | X-Ray Crystallography | Proteins Purification
Viruses such as HIV and SARS-CoV-2 rely on the cleavage of their long polypeptide chains into smaller functional proteins in order to replicate and form new viruses. This process is facilitated by proteases, inhibition of these enzymes with small molecules blocks the formation of new viral proteins and therefore its a promising avenue for drug development.
Dr. Bulut’s research focuses on developing drugs that specifically target viral proteases. Using X-ray crystallography, he guides structure-based drug design to optimize drug potency and interactions with the protease. Additionally, his work has uncovered important insights into the structural and mechanistic changes in HIV protease that can lead to multi-drug resistance in HIV viruses.
Identification of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro inhibitors containing P1’ 4-fluorobenzothiazole moiety highly active against SARS-CoV-2.
A small molecule compound with an indole moiety inhibits the main protease of SARS-CoV-2 and blocks virus replication
Single atom changes in newly synthesized HIV protease inhibitors reveal structural basis for extreme affinity, high genetic barrier, and adaptation to the HIV protease plasticity.
Haydar Bulut, Ph.D.
Dr. Bulut is a structural biologist with a passion for developing new drugs to treat infectious diseases. He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Biochemistry from the Faculty of Science at Ege University in Izmir, Turkey, and his Ph.D. in the Wolfram Saenger group at the Freie University of Berlin in Germany. During his Ph.D. studies, he solved the structures of periplasmic receptors from N. gonorrhea, Salmonella typhimurium, and Actinoplanes sp. in complex with their ligands, which revealed the mode of bacterial ligand recognition and essential nutrient uptake from their environments.
Dr. Bulut's empathy for people suffering from lethal viruses led him to pursue research endeavors at the NIH. Since 2016, he has been working at the National Cancer Institute (NCI/NIH) in Bethesda, USA. Initially, he worked on the development of potent inhibitors that counter multi-drug resistant HIV-1 viruses. When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, he immediately redirected his research efforts to develop therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2. He has made essential contributions to our drug discovery efforts by solving the structures of a number of highly potent inhibitors in complex with the SARS-CoV-2 main protease, revealing essential protein-drug interactions.