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Advanced Cell and Animal
Efficacy Testing

Vaithilingaraja Arumugaswami, DVM, PhD

Dept of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology

Dr. Arumugaswami is a virologist and an experimental biologist with a research focus on understanding pathogenic mechanisms of diseases caused by pandemic potential RNA viruses, including Corona, Zika Chikungunya and Hanta viruses.  Dr. Arumugaswami’s laboratory is actively working on developing pan-antiviral agents and has established several cell, organoid and animal model systems for investigating these lethal pathogens. Dr. Arumugaswami received his Veterinary degree in Indian Veterinary Research Institute and PhD at University of Arkansas followed by postdoctoral fellowship at University of California, Los Angeles. Currently, Dr. Arumugaswami is a faculty member in the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, and California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA.  Dr. Arumugaswami continues to foster international academic and industrial research collaborations. Dr. Arumugaswami serves in many academic committees and associate editor for Frontier Journals and American Society for Microbiology Spectrum. Dr. Arumugaswami has received several awards and honors. He is a recipient of the US National Institute of Health Director’s Transformative research award for 2021. He is a strong advocate of principles governing justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI). In the UCNL-ATTACK center, Dr. Arumugaswami is supporting the in vivo efficacy aspects of the antiviral drug development processes.

K.C. Kent Lloyd, DVM, PhD

Professor and Director

School of Medicine, UC Davis

Dr. Lloyd is a veterinarian and translational scientist conducting research to determine in vivo function of disease-associated genes in laboratory mice using contemporary genome editing (CRISPR/Cas9), surgical approaches, PDX modeling, and whole animal phenotyping.  He leads projects that involve the production and phenotyping of next-generation mouse models poorly annotated mammalian genes and of patient-specific disease biomarkers and characteristics. He has extensive background in mouse biology and genetics, with specific training and expertise in transgenic and knockout production and broad-spectrum physiological phenotyping.

Dr. Lloyd brings his expertise in mouse biology and genetics to create and validate genetically-humanized mouse models for the study of SARS-CoV-2 infection, COVID-19, and post-acute sequelae of COVID (PASC).  He has generated monogenic and multigenic knockin mice that express human coding sequence for ACE2, TMPRSS2, FURIN, DPP4, and other COVID-19 related genes in a physiological spatial and temporal manner and that replace the orthologous mouse genes.  These mice more accurately recapitulate the biology of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease and PASC in humans than other models, such as transgenic mice, that express human genes in a supraphysiological manner.

Tess Brown

Christopher J. Miller, D.V.M., Ph.D.


University of California Davis

Dr. Miller is a veterinary pathologist and virologist who studies viral pathogenesis, vaccines and therapies in animals models of human viral infections.  He has contributed to understanding the biology of HIV and Zika virus sexual transmission and the nature of protective immunity in nonhuman primate models of AIDS and influenza.  He is currently studying COVID19 pathogenesis and testing vaccines and antiviral against SARS-CoV-2 using the hamster model.


Koen Van Rompay, DVM, PhD

California National Primate Research Center 

University of California Davis

Dr, Van Rompay has 30 years of experience using nonhuman primate models of HIV, ZIKV, CHIKV and SARS-CoV-2, to test vaccines and antiviral drugs. This also includes studies on the emergence and clinical implications of drug-resistant variants. He brings expertise in the design and execution of nonhuman primate studies to test safety, pharmacokinetics and efficacy of novel antivirals against SARS-CoV-2 and other target viruses.


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Sujan Shresta, PhD


La Jolla Institute for Immunology

Dr. Sujan Shresta obtained her Ph.D. in immunology from Washington University in St. Louis, and completed her post-doctoral training in virology at the University of California, Berkeley. She joined the La Jolla Institute for Immunology in 2005. Her laboratory seeks to understand immunological protection against and susceptibility to emerging and re-emerging viral diseases of global concern such as dengue, Zika, and COVID-19. The laboratory applies knowledge gained from studies using mouse models, primary human cell culture models, and patient samples to develop and test antiviral drug and vaccine candidates against these viruses.

The Shresta laboratory has developed state-of-the-art mouse models to investigate flavivirus and coronavirus pathogenesis and immunity. These mouse models will be used to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the ATTACK Consortium antiviral candidates.  The laboratory has worked with several companies over the past decade to test antiviral candidates against flaviviruses using mouse and cell culture models. The laboratory generated the preclinical mouse data for IND filing of the two antivirals against DENV that reached phase I/II clinical trials through the United States FDA. The Shresta laboratory will also provide viral isolates from Nepal, Vietnam, Japan, and Thailand for the ATTACK Consortium researchers through scientific collaborations in Asia.

Lark L. Coffey, PhD

Associate Professor

University of California, Davis

Dr. Coffey has 21 years of experience studying the transmission dynamics, evolution, and pathogenesis of mosquito-borne viruses. Research in her laboratory, which is based in the School of Veterinary Medicine, focuses on viral genetic mechanisms of emergence that alter virus-host interactions, with a goal of finding ways to interrupt transmission to reduce human disease.

Leveraging her experience working with pathogenic viruses in high containment settings, Dr. Coffey’s role in UC-ATTACK is to evaluate evolution of antiviral-resistance and to assess efficacy of candidate anti-viral drugs in small animal models.

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