Video: Covid-19 Computer Model Can Speed the Discovery of Its Drugs

Saturday, April 4, 2020 - 13:24

Stony Brook University researchers could develop computer models to help speed the discovery of drugs to combat Covid-19.

According to the university's official website, the research team, led by Carlos Simmerling—the Marsha Laufer Endowed Professor of Physical and Quantitative Biology, a professor of chemistry, and Associate Director of the Laufer Center at SBU—is working on models to better understand how the “spike” protein on the surface of the COVID-19 virus interacts with the cells it infects.

These spikes all around the exterior of the spherical virus particles give the virus the look of a crown and its name. They are also the part of the virus that attaches to cells inside people’s respiratory systems, using a specific protein on the human cell to begin the process of causing infection.

Because of this role, the spike protein is also the main target for antibodies that would provide immunity to coronavirus and for developing drugs that potentially could block infection.

Simmerling and his colleagues are using computer models to understand more about how the spike works.

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