The World Laureates Association (WLA) Shanghai Center's global research team on disease prevention and treatment brought good news recently. By mobilizing its world laureates’ network, WLA is supporting China's fight against the epidemic with multiple strategies and channels.
Since the outbreak of the new coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019, WLA Shanghai Center has paid considerable attention to the epidemic, and closely followed the latest epidemic prevention trends and related academic research in China and globally.
On January 24, Roger Kornberg, WLA Chairman and 2006 Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry, hear the report proposed by WLA Shanghai Center that to combine laureates’ power to seek scientific cooperation on disease prevention and treatment worldwide. Prof. Kornberg immediately contacted the world's top virus laboratories such as the Scripps Research Institute, the Department of Biology at Stanford University, the Virus Infection Center at the University of Oxford, and the Medical Sciences Division at the University of Oxford, as well as industrialists in the field of medicinal chemistry.
Subsequently, WLA set up a research team composed of Wang Hou, WLA Co-Executive Chairman and Secretary-General; Wu Xiangdong, WLA Co-Executive Chairman; Yang Guang, WLA Deputy Secretary-General; and Wang Guangming, WLA Deputy Secretary-General, etc. From January 26 to January 31, 2020, which was during the Chinese Spring Festival, they met with the heads of the aforementioned scientific research institutions and nearly 10 scientists to conduct extensive and in-depth discussions on scientific research cooperation concerning disease prevention and treatment.
In the field of global disease prevention and treatment, there are three main strategies for virus research:
1）Develop virus inhibitors for host cells' pathway targets during virus infection, survival, and replication;
2）Develop virus inhibitors based on structural analysis and computer supercomputing and simulation for the virus's targets;
3）Develop specific neutralizing antibodies and virus vaccines against viral proteins.
WLA Shanghai Center held investigation and research based on these three strategic directions and conducted in-depth discussions with relevant laboratories and scientists. Scientists including Roger Kornberg, WLA Chairman, 2006 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, and Professor at School of Medicine, Stanford University; Michael Levitt, WLA Vice Chairman, 2013 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, Professor at Department of Biology, Stanford University; Richard Lerner, 1994 Wolf Laureate in Chemistry, Professor at the Scripps Research Institute; and Raymond Dewk, Director of the Oxford Glycobiology Institute, have expressed their concern to the epidemic, and proposed solutions based on their years of intensive research. They are willing to actively exert international scientific power to support China in combating the outbreak.