SIR Student Designs Potential Antiviral Medicines for SARS-CoV-2 | Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

SIR Student Designs Potential Antiviral Medicines for SARS-CoV-2

December 1, 2021

The Student Research Showcase is an online science communication competition in which students compete for awards and recognition of outstanding virtual research presentations. The competition is open to high school, undergraduate, and graduate students, and most worldwide research disciplines are represented across thirteen categories.

Senior Samantha Gong was selected by her mentor, Dr. John Thurmond, to present her abstract and poster at the Annual Sigma XI Regional Meeting, which was held virtually in November 2021. She’s a second-year student in the SIR Drug Discovery Course pursuing research in designing antiviral medications for COVID-19.

“With the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for treatments has become one of the world’s top priorities. This project was focused on designing antiviral medicines for COVID-19. Using computer-aided drug design programs called SeeSAR and Swiss ADME, new compounds were designed from a fragment from the COVID Moonshot Project. Over two hundred compounds were designed based on the original fragment using SeeSAR. Several compounds have well-calculated binding affinities with the SARS-CoV-2 main protease. These compounds can potentially inhibit the COVID-19 main protease and become antiviral medicines.”