RTNN Facilities Support COVID-19 Research

Protochips uses the NC State Nanofabrication Facility and Analytical Instrumentation Facility to manufacture and analyze in situ TEM holders and sample supports. One of Protochips’s customers, the McLellan Lab at the University of Texas, determined the 3D structure of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, a critical first step towards developing a vaccine.This reconstruction is widely used, including on the homepage of the CDC. A recent Raleigh Magazine article highlighted this work.

In collaboration with other researchers, Alexander Kabanov’s group in UNC’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy is developing mechanisms to deliver anti-CoV drugs and therapeutic agents directly to the respiratory track. Kabanov’s team uses instruments in the Chapel Hill and Nanofabrication Laboratory to characterize their work.

In addition, researchers at Duke are hard at work in the development of a novel vaccine to fight the coronavirus. The cryo-transmission electron microscope housed at Duke’s Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility (SMIF) is playing a major role in this work. This microscope helps scientists determine the structure of proteins in the virus to help guide vaccine design. To learn more, see the press release here.