Professor JJ Miranda


On June 23, 2021, JJ Miranda, assistant professor of biological sciences, along with Barnard lab technician Nicole Rondeau ’18 and recent graduate Maite Ibáñez de Garayo ’20, published new research in The Journal of Antibiotics, titled “Rationally repurposed nitroxoline inhibits preclinical models of Epstein–Barr virus-associated lymphoproliferation.” In this article, Professor Miranda, Rondeau ’18, and Ibáñez de Garayo ’20 who contributed significantly as part of her senior thesis research investigate “rational repurposing,” which is the repurposing of currently used drugs for new treatments after uncovering new molecular activities within them. While past repurposing mostly emerged from serendipitous findings and rational exploitation of drug side-effects, there has been a growing interest in the drug development field over the last few decades in proactively finding secondary uses for drugs that were originally intended for other therapeutic purposes, especially using computer-aided repositioning approaches.

In a series of drug trials, Professor Miranda and fellow collaborators on the research team examined nitroxoline, an antibiotic currently used to treat urinary tract infections, as a possible treatment for tumor growth in cancers. Their findings suggest that nitroxoline inhibits cell and tumor growth by suppressing lymphoproliferation associated with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which has important implications for the future of cancer treatment.