SEMINAR: Plant Lectins as Multifaceted Drugs: The Case of Griffithsin

J. Calvin Kouokam, Ph.D.
When Aug 31, 2017
from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM
Where Vogt Bldg., RM311
Contact Name
Contact Phone 852-7485
Add event to calendarvCal

Abstract: Lectins are proteins with multiple bioactivities, thanks to their ability to specifically bind sugar molecules (and sometimes with high avidity) which are ubiquitously found in living organisms, especially on the cell surface. They are usually referred to as carbohydrate binding agents (CBAs). CBAs have great potential application in the diagnostic and/or treatment of several diseases. Currently, lectins are used for blood typing in clinic, as tracers in Neuroscience, and for chromatographic separation (e.g. glycoproteins). In addition, some lectins (e.g. ricin) can be used as bioweapon. An emerging field studies the antiviral, antimicrobial, and anticancer activities of lections. In our laboratory, we assess CBAs for the treatment of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, as well as for their antitumor activities.


Speaker: Calvin is a husband and father of five.  He was awarded a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Yaounde (Cameroon) in 1993.  He then entered the graduate school of the same university where he received an M.Sc. in 1995 and was admitted for Ph.D. studies.  Subsequently, he was granted a German scholarship (DAAD) to pursue his graduate research at University of Saarland, Germany where he earned a Ph.D. in 2002 with focus on Analytical Phytochemistry and Pharmacognosy. Thereafter, Calvin moved to Sweden for a postdoc in molecular pathogenesis of UPEC (uropathogenic E. coli) and then to the U.S.A. for a postdoc in Microbiology and Immunology (2006) and in Pharmacology and Toxicology (2008) at the University of Louisville.  He is currently an Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Louisville. His research aims include the development of vaccines (e.g. against Cholera), as well as anticancer and anti-HIV drugs.


Video of seminar on YouTube