Universities Donates their Knowledge to Help in Vaccine Research

Jayla Neireiter , staff writer

Scientists from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have announced progress with a potential vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus causing the COVID-19 pandemic.

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the United States and the world, scientists and doctors understand the urgent need for a vaccine. 

The trial vaccine has not yet been tested in humans, but when tested in mice, delivered through a fingertip-sized patch, the vaccine produces antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2 at quantities thought to be sufficient for neutralizing the virus.

A team at the University of Texas at Austin also is working on new coronavirus research. Last month those researchers created the first molecular map of the virus’s spike protein, the part that attaches to and infects human cells. This map will be essential in creating vaccines and drugs for the disease, the university has said. The research was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health and supervised by staff members from the institute’s Vaccine Research Center. The associated paper was published in the journal Science.

News outlets have reported that researchers at the Washington University in St. Louis, Colorado State University and Baylor College of Medicine also are working on vaccine development, often building off research that already has been conducted at those institutions.