Newly awarded NIAID grant will aid in development of drug treatments for future viral pandemics

May 31, 2022
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Funding was recently awarded to the University of Minnesota by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to establish a center to develop antiviral drugs for pandemic-level viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. The Midwest Antiviral Drug Discovery (AViDD) Center is part of a network of nine national centers established by NIAID in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Midwest AViDD co-leaders VBS Endowed Professor Fang Li and Reuben Harris (Chair, Department of Biochemistry & Structural Biology, University of Texas- San Antonio Health Science Center) have assembled a large investigative team from the University of Minnesota and sixteen other institutions worldwide in a quest to develop new antiviral drug treatments to fight and prevent future pandemics.

Li explains, "We are very excited about this opportunity to advance antiviral drug discovery. In the past two years, the University of Minnesota has played an important scientific role in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Housed in the University of Minnesota Institute on Infectious Diseases, the Center is a key part of an overall initiative together bring expertise across disciplines to discover effective responses to pandemics, life threatening infections, and antimicrobial drug resistance through basic, translational and clinical research.

Other VBS faculty in the AViDD Center include Professors Yuying Liang and and Hinh Ly, andAssociate Professor Matthew Aliota (AViDD Internal Advisory Board). The initial project period is three years with an anticipated extension to five years and additional funding. Please visit the UMN Medical School website for the full write up.