Since the discovery of the novel coronavirus (2019NCP) at Wuhan in December 2019, Nankai University has been responding positively to the call of the country by gathering its advanced strength in disciplines such as biology, medicine, big data statistics, and carrying out epidemic prevention and control research in many aspects, such as vaccine and biologics, epidemic model prediction, social services, etc.
When an epidemic breaks out, a command is to be issued. On January 31th, Prof. Xuetao Cao, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and President of Nankai University, and Prof. Jun Chen, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Vice President of Nankai University, convened relevant scientific research teams of the University and held a special working conference. On the basis of previous work, participants discussed 4 projects of NCP epidemic prevention and control and coordinated the provision of start-up funding.
“Scientific researchers in Nankai should consciously respond to the call of the country and make contributions when the country is in need. We should devote our research to the task of fighting against the virus, write papers for supporting the front line, and apply the research results to the battle against the epidemic.” Prof. Xuetao Cao said.
Novel coronavirus vaccine is developed by a core team led by Prof. Zhangyong Hong, academician of China Academy of Sciences, and composed of Prof. Xiyun Yan, Prof. Xinglu Huang and Prof. Xinqi Liu. They carry out joint research with Huazhong Agricultural University.
In charge by researcher Dr. Hongkai Zhang, a Nankai team unites Prof. Zihe Rao, academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences and former president of Nankai University, isolating of neutralizing antibodies from the blood of rehabilitation patients and enhancing the antibody engineering. It is hoped that they can obtain fully human-neutralizing antibodies against the new coronavirus as soon as possible for virus diagnosis and epidemic prevention and control.
Prof. Xiaodong Zhang is committed to develop “anti-virus masks” to improve the effectiveness of prevention and control. With biological research, the anti-new coronavirus mask is based on the specific binding of the virus and the binding protein, efficiently trapping and adsorbing the virus to achieve the purpose of preventing the spread of the virus. Meanwhile, it applies biomedical technology to develop “anti novel coronavirus therapeutic polypeptide aerosol preparation”.
Prof. Senzhong Huang’s team is committed to make predictions through infectious disease models. They use the university’s independently developed EpiSIX program to track the 2019-nCoV epidemic in real time and submit the prejudged results to the disease control department for reference. At the same time, these results can accumulate data and experience on possible future epidemic prevention and control.
At the same time, Nankai scholars also actively exert their professional advantages to answer questions and explain the problem to the society and the public. Prof. Xinzhong Yu of College of History, Prof. Qiang Li of Zhou Enlai School of Government, and Prof. Yu Guo, associate professor of School of Pharmacy, respectively published articles in the media to interpret the epidemic situation from their professional perspectives, and effectively guided the public psychology.
Nankai University said that at present, the university will make full use of the strength of the whole university to integrate the strengths, actively strive for the support of all people, and make the greatest contribution to the prevention and control of the epidemic. At the same time, Nankai expects to work with more scientific research institutes, universities and enterprises to jointly tackle key problems and overcome the epidemic.
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Translated by Yuchen Shi, Edited by Davide Francolino and JianjingYun)