Scientist Dr. Paul Jordan Presents: A journey from RSV to Nipah Virus

Dr. Paul Jordan

Event Details

Note: Dr. Paul Jordan will host two events, a seminar starting at noon and a Q and A session, geared for students, starting at 2:30 P.M.

Click here for the event flyers.

Seminar Flyer and abstract PDF

Q and A Session Flyer

Dr. Paul Jordan, a senior antibody engineering scientist at Twist Pharma, is scheduled to discuss the challenges of treating the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and the discovery of a new drug, ALS-8176, which can inhibit RSV replication. The study looks at how this drug works and explores its potential. The presenter will also examine the Nipah virus (NiV) and identify some elements that help it replicate.

Read the abstract below for details of the research presentation and to learn more about Dr. Jordan.

Date: Friday Nov. 17, 2023
Time: 12:00 to 12:50 P.M.
Venue: Ag Mechanics, Room 102

Student portion of the event

Career in Biotech Q and A

Embarking on a Career in Biotech and the Pharmaceutical Industry:
An Early Career Perspective

Date: Friday Nov. 17, 2023
Time: 2:30 to 3:15 P.M.
Venue: Science I, Room 145


Seminar Title

Small molecule activation and inhibition of viral polymerases: a journey from RSV to Nipah Virus


Human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a negative-sense RNA virus and a significant cause of respiratory infection in infants and the elderly. 

Limited vaccines and antiviral therapies are available for the treatment of RSV. ALS-8176 is a first-in-class nucleoside prodrug inhibitor of RSV replication. ALS-8112, the parent molecule of ALS-8176, undergoes intracellular phosphorylation, yielding the active 5′-triphosphate metabolite. 

The host kinases responsible for this conversion are not known. Therefore, elucidating the ALS-8112 activation pathway is key to further understanding its conversion mechanism, particularly given its potent antiviral effects. 

We identified the activation pathway of ALS-8112 and showed it is unlike other antiviral cytidine analogs. We then used these findings to investigate a class of emerging RNA viruses, which share common replication machinery to RSV, but their mechanisms of RNA biosynthesis activities are unknown. 

To study this emerging class of viruses, including polymerase structure and function, we expressed an active, recombinant Nipah virus (NiV) polymerase. We identified conserved sequence elements driving RNA synthesis activities. The lack of available antiviral therapy for NiV prompted us to identify two clinically relevant nucleotide analogs as inhibitors of NiV polymerase. This work illustrates important functional differences yet remarkable similarities between the polymerases of non-segmented negative-strand RNA viruses.


Paul Jordan holds a B.A. in biology and chemistry from Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY) and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Montana State University (Bozeman, MT). He completed the second half of his graduate training at Indiana University’s Department of Chemistry in the lab of Professor Trevor Douglas after the lab was relocated from Montana. 

Dr. Jordan then joined Alios BioPharma, part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, in 2016 as a postdoctoral fellow in the biochemistry group and was subsequently promoted to a Scientist position in the newly formed Janssen BioPharma, located in South San Francisco, CA. 

In this role, he worked on small molecule therapeutics for respiratory viral diseases and published numerous research articles and book chapters while contributing to critical pipeline projects in collaboration with the CDC and numerous academic groups. 

In 2021, he joined Codexis as a project team leader, scientific manager, and senior scientist and worked on oral enzyme therapeutics for Celiac Disease, including advancing a molecule through lead selection, which resulted in a patent filing. 

In 2023, Dr. Jordan joined Twist Biopharma, part of Twist Bioscience, where he leads a team within the antibody engineering group.

Title of meeting with students

Embarking on a career in biotech and the pharmaceutical industry: an early career perspective.