John Aitchison, PhD

John Aitchison, PhD

Seattle Children's Hospital

Research Project:
Identifying Nanobody Proteins to Neutralize COVID-19 Viruses

Grant Awarded:

  • COVID-19 Respiratory Virus Research Award

Research Topic:

  • basic biologic mechanisms

Research Disease:

  • COVID-19

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has killed millions and is estimated to have infected about 10% of the world’s population. Despite the promise of vaccines, there is no clear end to the pandemic and there are significant challenges with current vaccine and monoclonal antibody strategies. Proteins called nanobodies are a very attractive and powerful addition to the multi-pronged arsenal we require to overcome the virus. They are  produced in bacteria, but derived from llama antibodies. We have generated a large repertoire of nanobodies that are extremely potent at viral neutralization and are positioned to be superior therapeutics to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. We will identify highly effective nanobody cocktails that prevent infection and respiratory disease in mouse models exposed to Delta or Omicron. Our goal is to develop inhaled delivery of nanobodies that complement vaccines and drugs. They could serve critically ill patients, act as preventive treatment, and retain effectiveness with new variants.

Page last updated: January 26, 2023

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