Department of Chemistry



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Researchers associated with the Department of Chemistry are among a number of recipients of Queen’s University’s Rapid Response funding competition supporting COVID-19 research

Dr. Snieckus's team (in collaboration with Dr. Archer, School of Medicine) will work on the synthesis and preclinical testing of novel small molecule antiviral and/or prophylatic therapies for COVID-19. They will synthesize analogues of select antiviral molecules currently in clinical trials in the hope of improving their efficacy and reducing their toxicity. Dr. Archer will test these drugs in preclinical cellular and mouse models of COVID-19.

Dr. Capicciotti (in collaboration with Dr. Colpitts, Biomedical and Molecular Sciences) is developing carbohydrate-based antivirals as a prophylactic therapy for COVID-19. Viral attachment, the first step in infection, uses interactions between complex sugars called glycans and proteins to initiate binding to host cells. These interactions concentrate the virus onto cell surfaces to enable binding to receptors that allow for viral entry. Our strategy is to understand the glycans involved in these early-stage interactions, and use this information to develop and test carbohydrate-based inhibitors to virus attachment/entry for a novel antiviral prophylactic strategy to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.