Recent News & Events


Assembly Biosciences and Door Pharmaceuticals sign agreement to collaborate on development of a novel class of HBV core protein modulators. Read the press release here.


Congratulations to

Caleb Starr for being named the Milton Tayor Fellow for the fall of 2020.


Is there a doctor in the house? Yes, we have two new ones. Congratulations to

Chris Schlicksup and Zhongchao "Kevin" Zhao for their successful defenses on July 10 and July 17.


Hurray for Zhongchao "Kevin" Zhao for winning the best poster award at the Annual Biochemistry Retreat 2019.


Kudos to Caleb Starr and Christine Kim for being awarded Peglow Travel funds to attend the Phage/Virus Assembly Conference, July 14-16, 2019.


It's a pleasure to congratulate Christine Kim on receiving a 2019 PVA Travel Award, to attend the 24th Biennial Conference on Phage/Virus Assembly, from the PVA organizational committee.


Zhongchao “Kevin” Zhao CONGRATULATIONS! On the 2019 International HBV Meeting Organizing Committee awarding you a travel grant for your abstract “Structures of Woodchuck Hepatitis Virus core protein reveal mechanisms of assembly regulation of HBV".


Congratulations to Zhongchao “Kevin” Zhao who was awarded the 2019 Frank Putnam Research Fellowship for his work on HBV assembly.


A round of congratulations to Chris Schlicksup, Sarah Katen, and Lye Siang Lee, working with Panagiotis Kondylis in the Jacobson lab for their publication of “Evolution of Intermediates during Capsid Assembly of Hepatitis B Virus with Phenylpropenamide-Based Antivirals” in ACS Infectious diseases [PDF].


Applause for Chris Schlicksup and Panagiotis Kondylis (IU's Jacobson lab) who co-first authored “Competition between Normative and Drug-Induced Virus Self-Assembly Observed with Single-Particle Methods.” published in Journal of the American Chemical Society [PDF].


Congratulations to Smita Nair and co-authors who published “Use of a Fluorescent Analogue of a HBV Core Protein-Directed Drug To Interrogate an Antiviral Mechanism” in Journal of the American Chemical Society [PDF].


Adam Zlotnick is featured in the Indianapolis Business Journal, read it here.


Congratulations to Kevin Zhao for being elected a Milton Taylor Fellow.


Congratulations to Smita Nair for the Journal of Virology web site publishing "Asymmetric modification of HBV genomes by an endogenous cytidine deaminase inside HBV cores informs a model of reverse transcription" [PDF].


Congratulations to Chris Schlicksup for having his research paper published in eLife. Read the IU press release [Link].


Congratulations to Adam Zlotnick for being elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a distinction that recognizes outstanding contributions to the progress of science and research. AAAS is the largest scientific society worldwide and also the publisher of the journal Science. Read the IU press release [Link].


Congratulations to Chris Schlicksup, on being elected a Taylor Fellow.


Zlotnick lab member, Chris Schlicksup, wins award for The Best Oral Presentation at the Phage/Virus Assembly Conference in Ellicott City, Maryland.


Congratulations to Dr. Lye Siang Lee on earning her PhD.!!!


Congratulations to Adam on his election to the American Academy of Microbiology.


Assembly Biosciences (ASMB) announces successful completion of phase 1a clinical trials for ABI-H073 [Link].


The fifth Gordon Conference on Physical Virology chaired by Brian Bothner, Mavis Agbandje, and Jeroen Cornelisen. Adam the chair of the first conference in this series.


Congratulations Chenglei Li. Chenglei will begin a Post Doctoral position in the lab of Vinay Pathak at NCI-Frederick.


Congratulations to Chris Schlicksup. Chris has been awarded a Quantitative Chemical Biology NRSA training grant.


Developing drugs to eradicate the hepatitis B virus [Link].


Check out Adam's interview at Bloom June-July 2016.


Internetional HBV meeting in Seoul, Korea.


FASEB Virus Structure & Assembly meeting at Steamboat Springs, Colorado.


Congratulations to Dr. Selzer.


<Old news>


We take viruses apart

We put them back together

We make them make mistakes

The Zlotnick lab dissects virus assembly using a broad array of biophysical and biochemical tools. We perturb “normal” assembly with mutants and small molecules. Results of perturbations are observed in vitro and in cells. Changes in structure are correlated with changes in assembly.

Assembly-directed small molecules can be antivirals. Our small molecules speed up assembly by orders of magnitude. How can this be antiviral? Imagine an assembly line, producing cars or viruses. It moves at a relatively slow rate and different pieces are added one at a time. If we accelerate the assembly line a little bit, say twofold, we get more cars but also more mistakes. If we accelerate the assembly line 100-fold, say from ¼ mile and hour to 25 miles an hour, we’ll be lucky to get a steering wheel.


These overlays show comparisons of Hepatitis B Virus capsids with bound drugs (purple) to a normal capsid without drug (green). Though the drugs, HAP1, HAP18, and AT130, each bind to different sites, their effects on capsid structure are distinctly different. (This figure was made by Bala Venkatakrishnan)

Fall lab outing to Lake Monroe

Searching for icebergs on Lake Monroe

About half of known virus families have icosahedral shells. Icosahedra have 5-fold, 3-fold, and 2-fold symmetry axes. In 1962, Caspar and Klug showed that you can make a larger icosahedron with the same sized subunit by mixing in quasi-6-folds with icosahedral fivefolds This graphic (from Christina Bourne) shows a T=3 icosahedron, where the quasi-6-fold is coincident with the icosahedral 3-folds.