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Project Highlight

Thesis prize for Clara Van Hoey!
Clara Van Hoey (ESR-15) won the 2nd price for the competition "Ma thèse en 180 secondes", which took place in Warsaw on May 15th 2019. And a small video to present the event is now available on this link:

Publications for the general public by ANTIVIRALS Early Stage Researchers

  • ESR-2 Lisa Bauer : Article for South Tirol newspaper Algunder Magazini
  • ESR-3 Kristina Kovacikova: Pan European Networks, quarterly issue for Science and Technology Title: Antiviral Education. A 2-page article about the educational aims of the ANTIVIRALS training network, with a special focus on the progress that has been made so far and the collaborations between the industrial and academic partners.
  • ESR-6 Anna Płaszczyca : Publication in ISAR News about the 31st ICAR
  • ESR-7 Roberto Manganaro, ESR-8 Birgit Zonsics, ESR-10 Nhungh The Tuyet Le, ESR-12 Marion Francisco, ESR-13 Angelica Corcuera, ESR-14 Haridian Montañez Brull : Special issue of the ISAR News, the newsletter of the International Society for Antiviral Research. The issue informed the readers about the training, research and dissemination programme of the ANTIVIRALS European Training Network.

ANTIVIRALS Blog presents great reading about viruses!

Project Highlight: Successful cross-disciplinary collaboration yields new chikungunya antiviral hits

Birgit, a PhD student at Cardiff University (UK), has succeeded in modelling 26 inhibitors of chikungunya virus using computational methods for predicting best candidate drugs.

Chikungunya fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease that can lead to abrupt fever and long-lasting joint pain. Because there are currently no licensed antiviral drugs against this disease on the market, the search for new chikungunya inhibitors is of great medical importance.

In order to discover new chikungunya antivirals, Birgit performed so called virtual screening of a compound collection called SPECS. In her approach, these compounds were used to target one of the viral proteins while paying close attention to the most important features of its already known binding partner. As she described, this process of ‘match-making’ between the candidate drug and the viral protein can take up to 6 months, especially given the tricky nature of the protein.

To test the 26 newly designed inhibitors for biological activity, Birgit is collaborating with virologists at the Rega Institute, KU Leuven (Belgium). As a result of this partnership, 4 initial hits were identified in cell-based assays. In the future, she hopes to join one of the partners in the ANTIVIRALS consortium to better understand the biological mechanism and applications of her compounds.

25 July 2016 – written by Kristina Kovacikova

Birgit at work