Our Latest Projects


Use of Metal-Containing Polymers as Potential Anticancer Agents

Metal containing polymers have been synthesized from a variety of metals that exhibit good inhibition of a variety of human cancer cell lines including pancreatic and breast human cancer cell lines. The products are rapidly synthesized using commercially available reactants and a system that is employed industrially allowing for ready expansion of the amounts of products synthesized. Recently, water soluble polymers have been synthesized using poly(ethylene glycol).

Genome Assortment, replication and oncolytic activity of reovirus

At the molecular level, we continue to make strides in understanding the process of genome assortment using reovirus, a virus with a genome consisting of ten dsRNA segments. Understanding this process will reveal new targets for antiviral therapy for a number of dsRNA viruses. As an extension of this work, we are exploring the nature of interference that results when multiple virus infections occur.


Antiviral activity of organotin polymers

Viruses, for the most part, utilize cellular machinery to replicate the viral genome and produce new virus particles. In an attempt to target viral replication, the cellular processes in uninfected cells are also undesirably affected. Polymeric drugs offer the opportunity to avoid some of these effects. As part of a collaborative effort with Dr. Charles Carraher, Jr. at Florida Atlantic University, we are involved in the application of organotin and other metal-containing polymers as novel antiviral and antitumor drugs.

Antiviral Activity of Saponins

Natural, aqueous extracts of Quillaja Saponaria, the Chilean Soap Bark tree, contain a number of physiologically active treterpenoid saponins that exhibit strong adjuvant activity and have been exploited in both human and animal vaccines. We are engaged in developing saponins to block viral infections in humans and animals, including herpes viruses, rotavirus and HIV. With increased urgency for new approaches to treat old diseases, such as smallpox, and newly emerging threats, including SARS, pressures to develop antiviral treatments are mounting.

Our Achievements

Roner Laboratory of Virology, Organotins & Microbiocides

Using a mouse model of rotavirus infection, we have demonstrated that it is possible to greatly reduce the incidence and severity of diarrhea by adding triterpenoid saponins prior to, and during, the virus exposure period.

Two widely employed pancreatic cell lines were used in the studies-AsPC-1 which is an adenocarcinoma pancreatic cell line and PANC-1 which is an epithelioid carcinoma pancreatic cell line. The AsPC-1 represents the most common form of pancreatic cancer.

Latest News


1. Roner, M.R.; Carraher, C.E.; Miller, L.; Frank, J.; Mosca, F.; Slawek, P.; Haky, J.E.; Campbell, A. 2020. Metallocene Polymers as Antiviral Zika Virus Agents from the Lewis Bases Lamivudine and Camphoric Acid. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research. Volume 9: (10);1-18. Accepted 8/16/2020. Impact factor 8.084.


Roner, M.R.; Carraher, C.E.; Miller, L.; Mosca, F.; Slawek, P.; Haky, J.E.; Frank, J. 2020. Organotin Polymers as Antiviral Agents Including Inhibition of Zika and Vaccinia Viruses. Journal of Inoganic Oganometallic Polymers. 30, 684–694 (2020).

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