As we race to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, time is of the essence. Technological advancements are required to understand the behaviour of the COVID molecule to develop vaccines that will prevent the virus, and arrive at a treatment we can be confident will have the highest level of effectiveness.
The Complex Carbohydrate Research Center (CCRC) at the University of Georgia has had access to new laboratory instrumentation technology. Not only does this potentially enable us to do better, more thorough analysis of the COVID virus, it may usher in a new age in pharmaceutical development, with more comprehensive studies leading to more effective treatments.
CCRC works in various disciplines – biomedical, plant and microbial glycosciences, synthetic and analytical chemistry – with scientists around the world. We are involved in coronavirus research, to better understand SARS CoV2, the infectious agent for COVID-191. The glycosylated spike protein on the coronavirus molecule’s surface is a glycoprotein, responsible for promoting entry of the virus into host cells; it is also the target of neutralising therapeutics. By understanding the properties of glycoproteins we gain insight into how to block the virus from binding to host receptors, and mechanistic information to develop effective vaccines and therapeutics.