Virology, drug development, infectious disease and cell biology.
Ronen Borenstein's training and expertise are in the areas of virology, drug development, cell biology, and in-vivo mouse models. Research in his lab focuses on Ginkgolic Acid as a viral fusion inhibitor.
The Borenstein Lab is currently developing animal and tissue models for the evaluation of novel viral inhibitors to treat Herpes simplex virus (HSV), Zika Virus (ZIKV) and Coronaviruses.
The Borenstein Lab is also interested in identification of novel HSV viral-host interactions using mass spectrometry and reverse molecular biology.
Dr. Ronen Borenstein completed his studies at Tel-Aviv University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences, and then a Master of Science and P.hD. in Virology and Cell Research working with Niza Frenkel studying human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6).
After completing his Ph.D., Dr. Borenstein started a postdoctoral fellowship at the NIH/NHLBI in Dr. Toren Finkel's lab, studying programmed necrosis, DNA damage response, and autophagy.
Dr. Borenstein continued his postdoctoral training at the University of Chicago in Dr. Bernard Roizman's lab, studying human herpes simplex virus. Dr. Borenstein then completed additional postdoctoral training at Rush University Medical Center in Dr. Dan Nicholson's lab, developing molecular biology methods to study neurological diseases. In 2018, Dr. Borenstein became an Assistant Professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology.
During his career, Dr. Borenstein developed HHV-6 amplicon vectors containing multiple repeats of selected genes. He was the first one to derive Bacterial Artificial Chromosomes (BAC) vectors carrying the HHV-6 genome, which opened the road to future molecular research and mutagenesis of the virus.
Dr. Borenstein has discovered that Ginkgolic Acid (GA) has strong potent in-vitro antiviral activity against enveloped and non-enveloped viruses. Testing of GA has showed successful antiviral activity in tissue culture infections with Zika virus (ZIKV), HSV-1 and human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). In addition, he has found a broad spectrum of fusion inhibition by GA of all three classes of fusion proteins. Dr. Borenstein's experiments suggest that GA inhibits viral entry by blocking the initial fusion event.