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David Ostrov - University of Florida. Gainesville, FL, US

David Ostrov

Associate professor | University of Florida

Gainesville, FL, UNITED STATES

Dr. David Ostrov is an expert on immunology, structural biology, and drug discovery in the areas of cancer therapeutics.


Dr. David Ostrov is an experienced immunologist and structural biologist serving as the program leader for targeted therapeutics at UF Health Cancer Center. He uses X-ray crystallography and the HiPerGator supercomputer to shed light on how to boost the immune system and to combat a diverse set of human diseases.

Areas of Expertise (9)



Drug Discovery

T cell immunobiology


T Cell Immunology

Structual Biology

Cancer Biology

Viral Disease

Media Appearances (3)

Can milk cure COVID-19? Not exactly, but a new treatment shows promise

The Hill  online


“Got milk? Cure COVID” was a meme that started circulating after one of our discoveries from the University of Florida went public. It playfully highlighted a major medical milestone: We had found a combination of two over-the-counter products that could inhibit 99 percent of SARS-CoV-2 replication in human lung cells, and one of them was milk-based.

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Dr. David Ostrov Discusses his Research on Early Drug Combinations for COVID-19

TrialSite News  tv


Dr. David Ostrov PhD is an immunologist at the University of Florida who works in the pathology laboratories. His research team focuses on structure-based drug design to discover novel therapies for preventing and treating diseases. He's recently done research on how repurposed drugs and cheap drug combinations might prevent and/or treat COVID-19.

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Two common compounds show effectiveness against COVID-19 virus in early testing

UF Health  online


A pair of over-the-counter compounds has been found in preliminary tests to inhibit the virus that causes COVID-19, University of Florida Health researchers have found. The combination includes diphenhydramine, an antihistamine used for allergy symptoms. When paired with lactoferrin, a protein found in cow and human milk, the compounds were found to hinder the SARS-CoV-2 virus during tests in monkey cells and human lung cells.

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Articles (3)

Sigma Receptor Ligands Prevent COVID Mortality In Vivo: Implications for Future Therapeutics

International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Reed L. Berkowitz, et. al


The emergence of lethal coronaviruses follows a periodic pattern which suggests a recurring cycle of outbreaks. It remains uncertain as to when the next lethal coronavirus will emerge, though its eventual emergence appears to be inevitable. New mutations in evolving SARS-CoV-2 variants have provided resistance to current antiviral drugs, monoclonal antibodies, and vaccines, reducing their therapeutic efficacy. This underscores the urgent need to investigate alternative therapeutic approaches.

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Emerging mutation patterns in SARS-CoV-2 variants

Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications

David A. Ostrov, Glenn W. Knox


There is an urgent need to understand the functional effects of mutations in emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2. Variants of concern (alpha, beta, gamma and delta) acquired four patterns of spike glycoprotein mutations that enhance transmissibility and immune evasion: 1) mutations in the N-terminal domain (NTD), 2) mutations in the Receptor Binding Domain (RBD), 3) mutations at interchain contacts of the spike trimer, and 4) furin cleavage site mutations.

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Highly Specific Sigma Receptor Ligands Exhibit Anti-Viral Properties in SARS-CoV-2 Infected Cells


María Dolores Piñeyro, et. al


(1) Background: There is a strong need for prevention and treatment strategies for COVID-19 that are not impacted by SARS-CoV-2 mutations emerging in variants of concern. After virus infection, host ER resident sigma receptors form direct interactions with non-structural SARS-CoV-2 proteins present in the replication complex. (2) Methods: In this work, highly specific sigma receptor ligands were investigated for their ability to inhibit both SARS-CoV-2 genome replication and virus induced cellular toxicity.

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