This Week's Discoveries | 16 June 2020
- Tuesday 16 June 2020
- Kaltura Live Room (see link below)
COVID-19: can we understand the processes leading to severe symptoms, and can that help to find treatments?
Join the lecture in Kaltura Live Room
Thomas Hankemeier (LACDR) Thomas is full professor of Analytical BioSciences at the LACDR, since 2004. He leads as principal investigator the Analytical BioSciences and Metabolomics group, and he is the chair of the new Division of Systems Biomedicine and Pharmacology. His research is aiming at innovative analytical tools for metabolomics-driven systems biology in personalized health strategies.
We want to understand the mechanisms why some COVID-19 patients are developing serious symptoms whereas others do not. For this, we started to work together with researchers, clinicians, and intensive care specialists from LUMC, Erasmus MC, and UMCU. We analyzed blood samples from COVID-19 patients and we used our 3D microfluidic cell culture model to study the effect of plasma from COVID-19 patients on the blood vessels together with prof. Anton-Jan van Zonneveld.
To integrate metabolite data into the existing available knowledge on COVID-19 we worked closely with prof. Barend Mons and the Virus Outbreak Data Network (VODAN). We used a computational COVID-19 disease model based on a relation map of symptoms and genes/proteins at different disease stages. This approach allows us to evaluate possible drugs and compounds in-silico.
One interesting aspect of this research is the urgency to understand COVID-19 better and to find proper treatments within months rather than within years: this urgency has impacted the way how research is conducted and how results and data are shared. This could be the beginning of improved cooperation and better (FAIR) data sharing in biomedical and drug research.