Two U of L researchers have received a $200,000 grant from the Exceptional Opportunities Fund of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) for infrastructure to aid them in their search to find a drug to treat the SARS-CoV-2 virus that’s responsible for the COVID pandemic.

The funding is part of nearly $28 million in research infrastructure support announced by Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Baines. The funding will support 79 projects across the country and covers the urgent need for equipment for ongoing research related to COVID-19.

“Canadian researchers and scientists are helping to protect our health and safety and are key to finding our way out of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Baines. “With this funding through the Exceptional Opportunities Fund, the Government of Canada is ensuring these talented Canadians have the equipment and tools to support them in their very important work.”

Specifically, they are looking to inhibit the ability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to replicate by targeting the interactions between viral proteins and the human host cell machinery responsible for replicating the virus. Their goal is to create a drug treatment capable of preventing these interactions.

U of L Students will also benefit as they receive additional opportunities for further training in biophysics and biochemistry and gain skills they’ll need in their future careers.

“The success of this important grant application by Dr. Trushar Patel and Dr. Borries Demeler reflects their stellar potential as a team, as well as the significance of their research as it relates to solving the problems of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Dr. Robert Wood, vice-president (research.) “Their scientific contributions will serve the greater good of our society.”

(From U of L Release)