Rapid Responders: Engineer Helps Battle COVID-19 with Science Funded by CARES Act

June 18, 2020
Jennifer McManamay, UVA Today

On April 3, as COVID-19 was already rapidly spreading across the US, the National Science Foundation issued a call for immediately implementable research to fight the disease as part of CARES – the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

Within a week, University of Virginia associate professor of chemical engineering Bryan Berger and his longtime collaborator, Jeffery Klauda, responded.

Berger and Klauda, an associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Maryland, proposed combining the power of mathematical modeling with high-throughput screening to fast-track answers crucial to understanding how SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, propagates within its human host. High-throughput methods automate experiments to increase the number that can be performed and speed the time to discovery.

Berger and Klauda each received a $150,000 award from EAGER, the National Science Foundation’s Early Concepts Grant for Exploratory Research funding program, which is designed for “untested, but potentially transformative” research approaches. The grants will support Berger and Klauda’s study of proteins linked to the virulence of SARS-CoV-2 in humans using integrated experimental and computational methods.

Read the entire story in UVA Today here.

(Photo by Tom Cogill)