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SEP 17, 2020 3:30 PM PDT

Discovery of a druggable pocket in SARS-CoV-2 Spike: New avenue to defeat COVID-19?

Sponsored by: GenScript
C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE
Speaker
  • Founder and Managing Director of the Max Planck Bristol Centre for Minimal Biology
    Biography

      Imre Berger was trained as a biochemist at Leibniz University and Medical School (MHH) in Hannover (Germany), MIT (Cambridge, USA), and ETH Zurich (Switzerland). He researches essential proteins complexes in human health and disease, creates synthetic vaccines and develops enabling technologies for this purpose. After Group Leader posts at ETH (2005) and EMBL (2007), Imre was appointed Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry at the University of Bristol (2014). In 2017, he became Director of the Bristol Synthetic Biology Centre and Co-Director of the Bristol Biodesign Institute BBI, Since 2019, Imre is Founding and Managing Director of the Max Planck Bristol Centre for Minimal Biology. Imre Berger has pioneered synthetic viral nanosystems for DNA delivery and complex biologics production. The tools he developed are accelerating research and development in academia and industry world-wide. He holds international patents for protein and DNA technologies, published more than 130 papers in leading periodicals, co-founded three biotech companies and received numerous distinctions, including the Swiss Technology Award, the W.A. DeVigier Foundation Award and the Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award for his innovative research. Sicne 2019, Imre is Investigator of the European Research Council ERC.


    Abstract

    COVID-19 has developed into a crisis of global proportions. COVID-19 is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Key to SARS-CoV-2 therapeutic development is unraveling the mechanisms driving high infectivity, broad tissue tropism and severe pathology. SARS-CoV-2 is decorated by multiple copies of a glycoprotein, called Spike, which is key to infectivity. Using cryo-electron microscopy and cloud computing, we discovered a potentially druggable pocket within the SARS-CoV-2 Spike, which appears to be likewise present in the highly pathogenic coronaviruses that caused the previous SARS and MERS outbreaks. Our discovery provides, for the first time, a structural link between COVID-19 pathology and the virus itself, setting the stage for developing new therapeutic interventions to combat and defeat COVID-19.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Learn about the high-tech science technologies and techniques being used to defeat the global COVID-19 epidemic

    2. Learn about a novel discovery of a druggable pocket in SARS-CoV-2 spike protein for drug development


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