Knox Van Dyke

Knox Van Dyke

Knox Van Dyke
Professor, West Virginia School of Medicine


 Knox Van Dyke is Professor in the Department of biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at West Virginia School of Medicine,  Morgantown WV 26506. He obtained his A.B. in chemistry from Knox College –Galesburg IL in 1961 and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Saint Louis University in 1966 under  Dr. Philip Katzman in the Nobel prize Department of Biochemistry of Dr. Edward A Doisy, the discoverer of vitamin K and the estrogens.

  After completion of graduate studies Dr Van Dyke joined Dr Leroy Saxe and Dr Richard Cenedella in the development of drug screening methods for malaria under a US Army contract in 1966. The culmination of this work was the first effective screening method to study the effects of antimalarial candidate drugs on growth of the malaria parasite via measurement of DNA and RNA synthesis . More than 10,000 possible anti-malarial drugs were screened and mefloquine and halofantrine eventually made it to the market for antimalarial treatment of humans.  It was found that the building blocks for DNA and RNA of the parasite were utilized differently from each other. Purines of malarial parasites were salvaged from host purines while pyrimidines were synthesized de novo from simpler precursors by the parasite.  These seminal observations are still be used almost 50 years later in automated drug screening with Plasmodium falciparum the deadliest of all the different strains of malaria.

  Dr Van Dyke began early studies in chemi-and bioluminescence by developing the first automated method for measurement of adenosine triphosphate for the measurement of drug toxicity to erythrocytes. In 1975 luminol dependent chemiluminescent assay for human phagocytic cells was developed. His students Dr Paul Stevens,  Drs. Mark Wilson and Michael Trush studied neutopenic states of human whit cells using the cellular production of light. Chronic granulomatous disease was measured in human cells and neonatal sepsis was studied by Dr David Peden in the laboratory of Dr Van Dyke.

  In the 1980’s numerous studies on applying cellular luminescence to various disease states such as cancer, arthritis, black lung disease and silicosis with Dr Vincent Castranova of ALOSH/NIOSH –USA  government laboratory.

  Dr Van Dyke has many USA and worldwide patents on malaria, cancer, HIV chemotherapy, vascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases and other chronic diseases He has written 6 books for CRC press on a variety of subjects dealing with luminescence and pharmacology. He is a member or past member of American chemical society, National Association for Advancement of Science, Sigma Xi, Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (lifetime member), American society of Photobology, Who’s Who in The USA, Who’s Who in the Frontiers of Science, Kentucky Colonels etc. 

Research Interest

 Biochemistry, Malaria, cancer, HIV chemotherapy, vascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases and other chronic diseases