Huy Ngo majored in chemistry at San Jose State University (BS 2010). He then obtained his PharmD in 2013 at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University. During his undergraduate and pharmacy school career, he worked on developing novel anticancer compounds, briefly interned at Berg, a Boston-based biopharma company, and trained as a pharmacy intern at various retail as well as hospital pharmacies. He then joined the Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics PhD program at University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy. He is currently a 4th year graduate student working under the guidance of Prof. Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova. His thesis involves developing small molecules as antibacterial, antifungal, and chemical probes. After graduation, he is interested in pursuing a career in translational science where he can contribute to improve patients’ healthcare.
Identification of ebsulfur analogues with broad-spectrum antifungal activity
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky, 789 South Limestone Street, Lexington, KY, 40536-0596, USA.
Invasive fungal infections are on the rise due to an increased population of critically ill patients as a result of HIV infections, chemotherapies, and organ transplantations. Current antifungal drugs are helpful, but insufficient in addressing the problem of drug-resistant fungal infections. Thus, there is a growing need for novel antimycotics that are safe and effective. The ebselen scaffold has been evaluated in clinical trials and has been shown to be safe in humans. This makes ebselen an attractive scaffold for facile translation from bench to bedside. We have recently reported a library of ebselen-inspired ebsulfur analogues with antibacterial properties, but their antifungal activity has not been characterized. Herein, we repurposed ebselen, ebsulfur, and 32 additional ebsulfur analogues as antifungal agents by evaluating their antifungal activity against a panel of 13 clinically relevant fungal strains. The effect of induction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by three of these compounds was evaluated. Their hemolytic and cytotoxicity activities were also determined using mouse erythrocytes and mammalian cells. The MIC values of these compounds were in the ranges of 0.02-12.5 μg/mL against the fungal strains tested. Notably, yeast cells treated with our compounds showed the accumulation of ROS, which may further contribute to the growth inhibitory effect against fungi. This study provides new lead compounds for the development of antimycotic agents.