Emerging topic: The COVID-19 pandemic
Against the background of the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, HIRI has taken immediate actions to identify ways to render the virus harmless.
identifying new Ways
We have already started to take a closer look at a strategy that the novel corona virus employs to multiply within the host: this strategy is called ribosomal frameshifting.
Neva Caliskan and her group "Recoding mechanisms in infection" are currently working to identify the interaction partners involved in the infection process of SARS-CoV-2.
HIRI group leader Emmanuel Saliba is using single-cell RNA-seq to obtain time-resolved RNA maps for individual cells from infected patients.
Further research groups at the HIRI are about to start deciphering the interface between Sars-Cov-2 and its host. Based on their individual expertise, they will shed light on the infection process from several angles.
Our scientists will employ state-of-the-art technology available at HIRI and its national and international cooperation partners to investigate how the novel coronavirus enters the host and how it uses the host’s body to multiply and to elucidate the symptoms of COVID-19.
render the virus harmless
The joint aim of our research efforts on SARS-CoV-2 at HIRI is to strategically acquire knowledge about central aspects of the infection process and disease development to identify the Achilles' heels of SARS-CoV-2.
This will provide the basis to initiate the second step of the value chain: to exploit the gained knowledge to develop effective treatments against SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses to counteract this and future pandemics.
A promising approach for the rapid development of a cure for COVID-19 and many other diseases are mRNA vaccines. A statement of HIRI director Jörg Vogel regarding the advantages, characteristics and application possibilities of these innovative vaccines and the current state of research can be found in the video link below.
For further information on SARS-CoV-2 and the current situation in Germany, visit the website of the Robert-Koch-Institut.