A team of researchers at the University of Georgia are developing and testing new vaccines and immunotherapies to combat the novel coronavirus that has infected hundreds of thousands across the world. The team is led by Ted M. Ross, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and director of UGA’s Center for Vaccines and Immunology. He has partnered with other laboratories and biotechnology companies to create new vaccines that could one day provide protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.
Scientists in his lab have already begun analyzing the viral genome to find the right targets that will prompt the immune system to create protective antibodies, and they will examine how effective those targets are in small-scale lab tests soon. Ross has spent most of his career studying viruses and developing new vaccines and treatments to combat them, but he is perhaps best known for his efforts to develop a universal influenza vaccine that could protect against all forms of the virus and eliminate the need for seasonal flu shots.
While the lessons learned from his work on influenza and other viruses will inform his work, the coronavirus presents a unique set of challenges.