UMN cross-disciplinary team works together to solve the COVID-19 puzzle

December 1, 2021
Covid puzzle

The Center for Coronavirus Research (CCR) at the University of Minnesota was established in 2020 at the dawn of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The mission of the CCR team is to investigate infection mechanisms of coronaviruses and to develop diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic strategies against coronavirus infections.

Fang Li, VBS Professor and Endowed Professor in Structural Biology of Disease, is the founder and Director of the CCR. Li is a world-renowned expert in the field of coronavirus entry. As of November 2021, the CCR has gained twenty-four members and affiliates from within the University of Minnesota and from external research institutes. Member expertise ranges from infectious disease, virology, immunology, biochemistry, biophysics, drug design, vaccine development, and other sciences. 

The following CCR members were selected as Highly Cited Researchers 2021 by Web of Science (Clarivate):

  • Dr. Fang Li (professor of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences)
  • Dr. Jian Shang (postdoctoral fellow in Professor Fang Li's lab)
  • Dr. Stanley Perlman (professor at University of Iowa)
  • Dr. Lanying Du (professor at Georgia State University)

A total of 6603 researchers across all disciplines in the world were selected, including 126 microbiologists.

See infographic below for the history of the Center for Coronavirus Research. Please visit the CCR website ( to learn more.

CCR infographicTo view timeline in larger size, please click on this link.