“We are working very fast to attack this problem because until we have a vaccine and a therapy, this virus represents a huge threat to humanity,” said Dr. Robert Hromas, dean at the Long School of Medicine.

UT Health San Antonio researchers are teaming with Texas Biomedical Research Institute scientists at biosafety level 3 and 4 labs at the institute.

A current research project focuses on antibodies as a key to vaccine development. “People who had the infection and recovered from it make specific antibodies,” said Dr. Evelien Bunnik from the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics at UT Health San Antonio. “Once we know the footprints of the antibodies that give the best inhibitory effect, we can take that footprint, essentially, and make it into a vaccine.”

The mobilization of partners from UT Health San Antonio and University Health System led to an “incredibly fast activation” of the trial in San Antonio, according to local study lead Dr. Thomas Patterson, chief of the Division of Infectious Disease at UT Health San Antonio.

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