Evolutionarily guided rational design of vaccines, antibody therapeutics, and accurate serological assays for COVID-19

Efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 have failed and we face an ongoing pandemic that has already infected millions of people world-wide. There are currently no drugs or vaccines that have been approved for the treatment of COVID-19, and existing blood tests for immunity suffer from inaccuracies. Moreover, since antibody or vaccine development can take several years, most of the treatments developed now by screening recovered COVID-19 patient serum to the virus will likely suffer from the rapid mutation of the virus, and may not be effective for future coronavirus mutants. This is the main reason why we cannot use therapies developed for SARS-CoV from the 2003 outbreak to the current pandemic. This project will develop evolutionarily-guided therapeutics and accurate blood tests that will account for future mutations in the virus, which could be used both against the current strain, and may also be able to prevent future pandemics.

Faculty Supervisor:

Steven Plotkin


Ching-chung (Shawn) Hsueh;Pranav Garg;Aina Adekunle


ProMIS Neurosciences


Physics / Astronomy


Professional, scientific and technical services


University of British Columbia



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