Grand View Students Published

January 26, 2022

In June 2020, Baleigh Wheeler and Alli Rupert participated in a Rutgers IQB workshop studying the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The work they and the other students did has now been published.

The article is titled “Evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 proteome in three dimensions (3D) during the first 6 months of the COVID-19 pandemic." All the undergraduates who participated are authors, as are all the faculty mentors, including Dr. Bonnie Hall.

Ali says, "I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be part of this collaborative project with the Institute for Quantitative Biomedicine (IQB) at Rutgers University and the RCSB Protein Data Bank. Understanding how different SARS-CoV-2 proteins mutate and evolve over time is still extremely relevant today as we face a surge of new variants in this ongoing pandemic. As new mutants arise, this structure-based research approach can be used to aid in drug and vaccine development as well as potentially provide insight for the next steps of the pandemic. It’s so rewarding to see proteins that were analyzed as part of this research, such as the SARS-CoV-2 main protease, an essential viral enzyme, being used as a target for new drugs that are currently on the market for emergency use, like Paxlovid. This brings hope for the future as we continue to fight through this pandemic."

Baleigh reflects, "Being a part of the IQB-Rutgers PDB boot Camp was a great opportunity to conduct research over the SARS-Cov2 main protease with an interdisciplinary team of researchers, to study changes within a virus currently impacting the world today, but also the critical impact and need for bioinformatic software in order to study changes within proteins."

View the article online.