The rapid spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the associated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has precipitated a global pandemic heavily challenging our social behavior, economy, and healthcare infrastructure. Prediction models project U.S. COVID-19 deaths exceeding 130,000 in Summer 2020. Worldwide, recovery from this active, devastating outbreak cannot begin until safe and effective medicines for treatment and prevention are available. Currently, there are no approved drugs, immune therapeutics, or vaccines against SARS-CoV-2.

A postdoctoral position is immediately available to test the efficacy and safety of a new vaccine candidate developed in our lab. This vaccine consists in the transduction of human ACE2 (hACE2) entry receptor transgenic mice with a Sindbis vector encoding selected SARS-CoV-2 proteins. Immune response and viral protection against SARS-CoV-2 challenge will be analyzed. Presence of the virus in multiple organs (i.e., lungs) will be analyzed by immunostaining of organ sections and by viral infectivity using plaque assays and qPCR. Neutralization of the mounted response (i.e., antibodies) will be analyzed ex vivo using various cell culture systems developed in our lab. Moreover, new drug candidates available in our lab will be tested for safety and efficacy for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection both in vitro and infected hACE2 transgenic mice.

About The Scripps Research Institute

The Scripps Research Institute, one of the world's largest, private, non-profit research organizations, stands at the forefront of basic biomedical science, a vital segment of medical research that seeks to comprehend the most fundamental processes of life. Over the last decades, the institute has established a lengthy track record of major contributions to the betterment of health and the human condition.