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Mohsin Khan, Ph.D.

Dr. Mohsin Khan
Scientific Focus Areas: RNA Biology, Virology, Cell Biology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Professional Experience

  • Staff Scientist, Liver Disease Branch, NIDDK, NIH, Bethesda, 2020- present
  • Project Scientist, Department of Medicine, UC San Diego, CA, 2016-2020
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Medicine, UC San Diego, CA, 2011-2016
  • Senior Research Fellow, Division of Virology, DRDE, Gwalior, India, 2009-2011
  • Junior Research Fellow, Division of Virology, DRDE, Gwalior, India, 2007-2009

Current Research

My current research focuses on Hepatitis B Virus (HBV). The cccDNA of HBV is synthesized immediately after infection, which persists and acts as a template for HBV transcripts. HBV completes its life cycle via an RNA intermediate, which is known as pre-genomic (pg) RNA. This pgRNA serves as a template for reverse transcription and helps to synthesize first strand of HBV genomic DNA. Although HBV is a DNA virus, it shares many features common to both DNA and RNA viruses. Therefore, HBV is considered one of the most complex viruses to study. The recent advancement in the field of culture systems and animal models has evidently created newer avenues for HBV research. Our lab also has successfully established various infectious HBV cell culture systems that are suitable to study HBV infection, spread, virus-cell interaction and antiviral testing. We also apply functional genomics and genome-wide screening approaches to explore HBV-host interaction.

In addition, we have strong experimental evidence to believe that few of the drugs we studied in the past can potentially target early and/or late stage of SARS CoV2 infection. Preliminary results using infectious SARS CoV2, and its multiple variants, reassured our hypothesis. The work is now underway to identify the mode of action and characterize the drug mechanism. To achieve this goal, we are working in collaboration with NIAID SVC core facility and have on-campus access to BSL3 facility where we conduct experiments using several clinical isolates of SARS CoV2.

Select Publications

Targeting the Fusion Process of SARS-CoV-2 Infection by Small Molecule Inhibitors.
Park SB, Irvin P, Hu Z, Khan M, Hu X, Zeng Q, Chen C, Xu M, Leek M, Zang R, Case JB, Zheng W, Ding S, Liang TJ.
mBio (2022 Jan 11) 13:e0323821. Abstract/Full Text
HBV-Induced Increased N6 Methyladenosine Modification of PTEN RNA Affects Innate Immunity and Contributes to HCC.
Kim GW, Imam H, Khan M, Mir SA, Kim SJ, Yoon SK, Hur W, Siddiqui A.
Hepatology (2021 Feb) 73:533-547. Abstract/Full Text
View More Publications

Research in Plain Language

My research is focused on hepatitis B virus (HBV) pathogenesis, host-HBV interplay, and antiviral drug discovery. HBV is the etiologic agent of viral hepatitis B. This is a disease that affected over 300 million people around the world. The infected individuals are at a high risk of liver failure, cirrhosis, and liver cancer.

My current research is dedicated to studying the molecular mechanisms of the HBV life cycle, HBV-induced reprogramming of host cells, DNA replication, and screening of drugs. In this regard, my special focus is on the biosynthesis and regulation of HBV covalently closed circular (ccc) DNA, HBV entry receptors, and HBV-HCV coinfection.

In addition to HBV, I also study drugs that target SARS-CoV2. The aim is to investigate repurposed drugs against SARS CoV2.