Dr. Eva-Maria Strauch, assistant professor in the department of pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences at the College of Pharmacy, is one of 40 UGA researchers who met recently on Zoom to share their efforts to face the challenges of COVID-19. She has been working with biotechnology companies on vaccine candidates and briefly outlined her research:
“Our group has been working on developing a platform using both computational and experimental high throughput methods to develop countermeasures against new emerging viral diseases. We previously demonstrated that we can design proteins on the computer, and then take them into the wet lab, where we test and optimize them to see whether they behave as intended. For instance, we designed antivirals that broadly neutralize diverse strains of influenza. For COVID-19, we will apply all our methodologies. We are tackling the virus from two different aspects: (1) We are developing biologics to inhibit the virus by blocking its host-cell recognition and entry mechanisms as new antivirals, and (2) we are re-engineering the major surface protein of the virus to provide new vaccine candidates for different platforms and serological testing reagents to check for immune responses. We are bringing a non-conventional set of molecular cutting-edge tools to the table to help detect, treat and prevent SARS CoV-2 infections.”
Great work, Dr. Strauch and colleagues!