RSC Group: University of Ottawa Joined a Multi-National Team to Combat COVID-19

April 23, 2020

MOSCOW and OTTAWA, Ontario, April 23, 2020 — The Bioanalytical and Molecular Interaction Laboratory lead by Professor Maxim Berezovski at the University of Ottawa has joined an international science group – from Russia, Finland and Italy – which got high priority access to Russian RSC Tornado supercomputer for studying methods to fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus infection.

The multi-national research team uses a recently upgraded cluster system based on 2nd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors, which has been deployed by RSC Group, the leading Russian solution provider for high-performance computing.

The international project aims to develop medicine for diagnostics and therapy against the coronavirus contagious disease that became the cause of the global pandemic. Finding treatments to prevent and mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 is the highest priority in the worldwide scientific community now. The international and multidisciplinary project takes advantages of the latest advances in experimental physics, chemistry, and biology to investigate the life cycle of the virus and to target specifically its specific proteins. Sophisticated simulation methods require supercomputing power to study all details of the interaction between the Spike-protein on coronavirus surface and the human protein ACE2 which is known to be the entry point for SARS and SARS-2 coronaviruses. It will help to complete all research stages within a limited amount of time.

“Rapid global spread of COVID-19 coronavirus infection pandemic has shown that there are no clear global emergency response plans against threats to humankind caused by new viruses. One of the obvious shortcomings is the lack of technologies for the quick development of medicines for diagnostics and therapy. We all have different competencies, knowledge, skills and resources. Our geographically distributed team includes virologists, biologists, chemists, mathematicians and physical scientists. The international cooperation is extremely important to achieve quick progress and rapidly react to the ever-changing situation with global coronavirus pandemic. We hope that our research will actually help to fight the spread of such infections,” explains Anna Kichkailo, Head of Laboratory for Digital Controlled Drugs and Theranostics at the Krasnoyarsk Federal Science Center of Russian Academy of Sciences.

The international team consists of:

  • Laboratory for Digital Controlled Drugs and Theranostics and Laboratory of Physics of Magnetic Phenomena, Kirensky Institute of Physics at the Federal Science Center, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences (KIP FSC SB RAS, Krasnoyarsk, Russia),
  • Laboratory for Biomolecular and Medical Technology, V.F. Voyno-Yasenetsky Krasnoyarsk State Medical University (KSMU, Krasnoyarsk, Russia) – project coordinator,
  • Laboratory of Chemical Cybernetics, Department of Chemistry at Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU, Moscow, Russia),
  • Laboratory for Computer Simulation of Biomolecular Systems and Nanomaterials at N. M. Emanuel Institute of Biochemical Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences (IBCP RAS, Moscow, Russia),
  • Organic Synthesis Laboratory, Institute of Chemical Biology and Fundamental Medical Science, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ICBFM SB RAS, Novosibirsk, Russia),
  • The Bioanalytical and Molecular Interaction Laboratory, Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Ottawa (Canada),
  • Nanoscience Center and Department of Chemistry, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä (Finland),
  • Institute for Experimental Endocrinology and Oncology (IEOS), part of National Research Council (CNR), Naples (Italy),
  • Department of Molecular Medicine and Medical Biotechnology, Federico II University of Naples (Italy).

Source: RSC Group 

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