Vivian Cody PhD

Vivian Cody

Vivian Cody

Professor, Structural Biology Department,Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Department of Structural Biology

Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

Specialty/Research Focus

Bioinformatics; Computational Chemistry; Drug Design; Protein Folding; Structural Biology; X-ray Crystallography

Contact Information
Dept of Structural Biology
Room 5132
955 Main Street
Buffalo, New York 14203
Phone: (716) 829-2519

Professional Summary:

The long-term goal of my research has been to understand the role of key active site residues in the mechanism of molecular recognition among various classes of proteins. The primary focus has been study of folate-dependent enzyme pathways, in particular dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). These enzymes from pathogenic Pneumocystis species are of interest for the design of selective inhibitors for the treatment of AIDS-related pneumonia. Analysis of the structural data from several classes of protein has revealed a great degree of conformational flexibility for ligand binding that result in novel modes of binding to the same active site. Understanding the role of such flexibility has aided in the design of new scaffolds for inhibitor design. Additionally, my lab has the expertise to carry out the necessary molecular biology experiments to clone, express and purify proteins for crystallographic study using both bacterial and insect cell host systems. We have a long-standing, successful collaboration with the Queener lab to study DHFR, particularly from the opportunistic pathogens Pneumocystis jirovecii (pj) and Pneumocystis carinii (pc), found in man and rats, respectively. Our lab is also studying transthyretin (TTR), the thyroid hormone transport protein, characterizing the human protein bound to inhibitors with potential to stabilize the tetrameric structure and ameliorate the effects of filbril formation. Transthyrtetin from lamprey is of interest as it is thought to be the cross-over species in the change of function from a hydrolase to hormone transport function.

Education and Training:

  • PhD, Chemistry, University of Cincinnati (1969)
  • BS, Chemistry, University of Michigan (1965)


  • Professor, Structural Biology Department, University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (2001-present)

Awards and Honors:

  • University at Buffalo Sustained Achievement Award (2005)

Research Expertise:

  • Computational Chemistry
  • Drug Desing
  • protein structutral analysis of enzymes
  • Structural Biology
  • X-ray Crystallography

Grants and Sponsored Research:

  • April 2012–March 2016
    Evaluation and Development of E1-Topo1 as a Target for Anti-HPV Therapeutics
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • April 2012–March 2016
    Pneumocystis jirovecii Targeted Antiopportunistic Agents
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • September 2010–August 2012
    Oral Immunity and Adjuvant Receptors
    National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
  • September 2007–July 2011
    Chemically Controlled Assembly of Therapeutic Nanostructures
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • April 1995–December 2010
    Structural Studies of AIDS-Responsive Drugs
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • September 2008–September 2009
    Structural Characterization of AlphaVBeta3 Integrin Ligand Complexes
    Role: Principal Investigator

Journal Articles:

See all (121 more)

Professional Memberships:

  • American Association for Women in Science
  • American Association of Cancer Researchers
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Crystallographic Association
  • American Institute of Physics
  • American Society of Molecular Biologists and Biochemists
  • American Thyroid Association; member of Finance committee
  • Endocrine Society
  • Sigma Xi

Service Activities:

  • P01 Cancer center; site visit P01 cancer center;; Grant Reviewer (2014)
  • P01 cancer center; P01 Cancer center review;; Panel Member (2014)
  • Faculty Council; Member (2013–2015)
  • Family Practice Management Plan Governing Board; Alternate Member (2013–2014)
  • Promotions Committee to Research Educator/Qualified Ranks; Member (2013–2016)
  • FPMP Governing Board; Alternate Member (2012–2013)
  • Committee on Promotions to Clinical Ranks; Member (2009–2012)
  • ADDT;; Grant Reviewer (2004–2008)
  • Faculty Planning and Budget; Alternate Member (2004–2007)
  • ADDT;; Panel Member (2004–2008)
  • Biomedical Research Affairs; Member (2003–2007)
  • NIH ADDT;; Panel Member (2003–2008)
  • NSF;; External Reviewer

School News:

In the Media:

Clinical Specialties:

Clinical Offices:

Insurance Accepted:

Contact Information

Dept of Structural Biology
Room 5132
955 Main Street
Buffalo, New York 14203
Phone: (716) 829-2519