Ollie Rudden

Deputy News Editor

The Universities of Glasgow and Dundee have united to use their resources in the fight against COVID-19

Scientists at the Universities of Glasgow and Dundee have teamed up to develop biological tools to study COVID-19 and combat the virus together. 

The Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (MRC-PPU) at Dundee have found 38 separate proteins produced by SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19 and is responsible for producing an immune response in the body. 

Over the next four months the team at Dundee will develop these components of the virus to help make antibodies against them and the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Virus Research will use these tools to study the virus.

Professor Dario Alessi, Director of MRC-PPU, said: "I am delighted that we have been able to rapidly exploit the tremendous expertise available within our Unit to generate antibodies that recognise each of the 38 proteins encoded by the COVID-19 virus. This represents a titanic effort, and I would like to acknowledge our dedicated staff who are working night and day on this project.

"These antibodies represent a unique set of tools to study the inner workings of COVID-19. They will help future research aimed at understanding fundamental COVID-19 biology and the quest to develop new drugs that prevent this virus from infecting humans. As soon as each of these antibodies is generated, we will place these on our reagent website so that researchers worldwide can easily order these tools."

The universities will also study 10 key components of SARS and MERS biology to launch new research against any future outbreaks of fatal diseases to prevent another global pandemic.

Professor Massimo Palmarini, Director of the CVR, said: "The CVR and its scientists are at the centre of Scotland’s – and the UK’s – response to the current coronavirus outbreak. As the largest group of virologists in the UK with the facilities to handle samples from infected patients, we are well placed to conduct pivotal research into emerging diseases such as COVID-19.

"In the coming weeks and months, our scientists will continue to work in collaboration with a number of organisations to research SARS-CoV-2, its mechanisms of action and potential therapies."



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