Michael A. Parniak, PhD

Professor Emeritus

Dr. Parniak


Fax: 412-648-9653

414 Bridgeside Point II

450 Technology Drive

Pittsburgh, PA 15219-3143


PhD in Chemistry, University of Waterloo (Canada)

Research Summary

Emeritus Professor Michael Parniak is a bio-organic chemist with diverse research expertise in amino acid, carbohydrate and nucleic acid metabolism. For the past 30 years, his research has focused on HIV, specifically  HIV drug discovery and development, mechanisms of antiviral drug resistance, structure-function studies of HIV protein maturation during HIV assembly, and development of agents to prevent HIV transmission. He has published close to 200 papers and has 29 patents issued or pending, most in the area of HIV drug discovery and development. Dr. Parniak and his close collaborator Dr. Stefan Sarafianos (University of Missouri; now at Emory) spearheaded the preclinical assessment of the novel anti-HIV drug EFdA, a drug now licensed by Merck and currently in Phase 2 clinical evaluations for both the treatment and the prevention of HIV infection. In addition to his academic activities, Dr. Parniak co-founded two biotech companies, has consulted for several major pharmaceutical companies, and has served as expert witness in numerous drug patent litigation cases. While Dr. Parniak no longer carries out laboratory studies, he remains active in scientific research by mentoring junior and mid-level academic faculty, by consulting for pharmaceutical and biotech companies, by serving on NIH grant review panels, and by serving on scientific advisory boards for NIH-funded Center and Program grant groups.

Click here for a full listing of publications


Arion D, Kaushik N, McCormick S, Borkow G and Parniak MA. 1998. Phenotypic mechanism of HIV-1 resistance to 3'-azido-3'-deoxythymidine (AZT): increased polymerization processivity and enhanced sensitivity to pyrophosphate of the mutant viral reverse transcriptase. Biochemistry. 37: 15908-15917. |  View Abstract

Sarafianos SG, Marchand B, Das K, Himmel DM, Parniak MA, Hughes SH and Arnold E. 2009. Structure and function of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase: molecular mechanisms of polymerization and inhibition. J Mol Biol. 385: 693-713. |  View Abstract

Michailidis E, Marchand B, Kodama EN, Singh K, Matsuoka M, Kirby KA, Ryan EM, Sawani AM, Nagy E, Ashida N, Mitsuya H, Parniak MA and Sarafianos SG. 2009. Mechanism of inhibition of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase by 4'-Ethynyl-2-fluoro-2'-deoxyadenosine triphosphate, a translocation-defective reverse transcriptase inhibitor. J Biol Chem. 284: 35681-35691. |  View Abstract

Murphey-Corb M, Rajakumar P, Michael H, Nyaundi J, Didier PJ, Reeve AB, Mitsuya H, Sarafianos SG and Parniak MA. 2012. Response of simian immunodeficiency virus to the novel nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor 4'-ethynyl-2-fluoro-2'-deoxyadenosine in vitro and in vivo. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 56: 4707-4712. |  View Abstract

Stoddart CA, Galkina SA, Joshi P, Kosikova G, Moreno ME, Rivera JM, Sloan B, Reeve AB, Sarafianos, SG, Murphey-Corb M and Parniak MA. 2015. Oral administration of the nucleoside EFdA (4'-ethynyl-2-fluoro-2'-deoxyadenosine) provides rapid suppression of HIV viremia in humanized mice and favorable pharmacokinetic properties in mice and the rhesus macaque. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 59: 4190-4198. |  View Abstract