The theme of the sixth annual International Day of Women in Science is “Women Scientists at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19.”
In recognition of the day, The LSI is proud to honour the work of Dr. Natalie Strynadka, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, who is both leading and co-leading on two separate grants funded by the federal government to speed discovery of potential therapeutics to combat COVID-19.
Augmented Discovery of Potential Inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 3CL Protease
Dr. Strynadka and Dr. Francois Jean are co-investigators a grant being led by UBC researcher Dr. Artem Chersakov. Dr. Jean’s virology team is screening of candidate compounds identified by the Cherkasov team. The most potent molecules are being tested against the SARS-CoV-2 virus at the state-of-the-art Facility for Infectious Disease and Epidemic Research (FINDER) at UBC.
Designing drug treatments for COVID-19
As lead investigator on this second grant, Dr. Strynadka is focusing on development of antiviral drugs for COVID-19. Working with teams at VenatoRx and the University of Washington, Dr. Strynadka and her team are assessing drugs that inhibit two protease enzymes (3CLpro and PLpro) that are active during viral reproduction in the body. This approach has been successfully used to develop drug treatments for other viruses such as HIV.