Stephen Chan, M.D., Ph.D.

Stephen Chan, M.D., Ph.D.

Institution: University of Pittsburgh

Project: NCOA7 as a novel therapeutic and genetic diagnostic target in SARS-CoV-2 infection

Grant(s): COVID-19 Respiratory Virus Research Award

SARS-CoV-2 is a new, deadly coronavirus that causes severe lung and heart disease in a subset of our population. To date, we know very little about how this virus infects humans and why some people develop more severe disease while others remain without any symptoms. We aim to define the process by which a specific protein made in cells, NCOA7, controls how SARS-CoV-2 infects human tissue and causes COVID-19. We also aim to determine whether a specific variation in DNA, which is present in roughly half of the global population and regulates NCOA7 levels, can also control SARS-CoV-2 infection. If successful, this work could offer new treatments as well as new, effective ways to genetically identify persons at high or low risk for COVID-19. These are deliverables that can be rapidly deployed to combat this pandemic.

Update: Our findings about NCOA7 so far are putting us on track to describe an entirely new pathway that regulates SARS-CoV-2 entry and downstream inflammatory disease. Our endeavors could also generate new therapeutic possibilities to treat COVID-19 via small molecules that control NCOA7 activity.

The James & Marlene Ryan COVID Award

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