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COVID-19 research at Rockefeller


Image of Covid testing in a car

How antibody therapy impacts COVID vaccines

December 6, 2022
People who receive monoclonal antibodies before vaccines may benefit from increased coverage, due to antibody feedback inhibition.
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Mathematical modeling suggests counties are still unprepared for COVID spikes

October 24, 2022
If jurisdictions plan to share resources in advance, the study concludes, this could prevent one rare event from overwhelming a county or state.
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Common mutation linked to COVID mortality

September 21, 2022
Because three percent of the world population possesses these gene variants, the findings may have implications for hundreds of millions of individuals around the world.
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A third vaccine dose may increase protection from Omicron

June 23, 2022
The booster appears to galvanize memory B cells into producing potent and versatile antibodies that neutralize both the original virus and its many variants.
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Coveted, COVID-proof genotypes

May 23, 2022
AS COVID CONTINUES to find new victims, one of its biggest mysteries remains unresolved: why certain people appear to keep dodging it.
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New evidence that boosters may be crucial in protecting against Omicron

December 16, 2021
Researchers found that the antibodies present in people who have had COVID or taken two doses of mRNA vaccine are inadequate against Omicron. But their protective ability increases significantly after a booster dose.
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Images of llamas

Miniature llama antibodies could help fight SARS-CoV-2 variants

December 7, 2021
Scientists have identified hundreds of llama-derived antibodies that potentially could be developed into a COVID treatment. They hope such a drug would be potent against different variants of the coronavirus, including Omicron.
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FC Domain

New design may boost potency of monoclonal antibodies against COVID

November 18, 2021
In animal experiments, the structurally altered antibodies activated the immune system more effectively than those currently used in the clinic. They also proved to be more protective against the virus.
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Could future coronavirus variants fully dodge our immune system?

September 21, 2021
Studying dozens of naturally occurring and laboratory-selected mutations in SARS-CoV-2, researchers found that the virus will need to pull off a genetic feat to become fully resistant to antibodies.
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Stored in orange-capped vials for mass distribution, the DRUL buffer is part of an inexpensive saliva-based COVID test developed at Rockefeller.

Rockefeller saliva test for COVID-19 outperforms commercial swab tests

September 14, 2021
The DRUL saliva assay is safer, more comfortable, and less expensive than comparable COVID screening tools. Now a new study demonstrates that it is at least as sensitive as swab tests, too.
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Colored transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus particles.

Natural infection versus vaccination: Differences in COVID antibody responses emerge

August 24, 2021
People who recover from COVID-19 may have better protection than those who received a vaccine, but the benefits of natural immunity do not outweigh the very real risk of disability and death from contracting the disease.
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The common thread in severe COVID-19

August 19, 2021
New studies point to a single molecular explanation for 20 percent of critical COVID-19 cases: insufficient or defective type I interferons.
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Photographs by Matthew Septimus

Building a better COVID test

August 19, 2021
How a small study of arthritis patients gave birth to the pandemic’s most innovative virus test.
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Illustration by Daniel Liévano

As society reopens, scientists aim to close in on COVID

August 18, 2021
FOR MANY, NEWS of the first “breakthrough” COVID cases was alarming. But for scientists, it was expected—and presented an opportunity.
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Image from Pichest

The lemon aid

July 23, 2021
THE SALIVA COVID test developed at Rockefeller is both highly accurate and very convenient—except when your mouth is dry. In that case, you need a lemon.
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Illustration by Daniel Liévano

America is getting vaccinated. Now what?

July 2, 2021
When the virus struck, researchers responded with unrivaled focus, creativity, and cooperation. Will science maintain its newfound momentum even as this pandemic recedes?
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Vaccines charge up natural immunity against SARS-CoV-2

May 28, 2021
Vaccination enhances antibodies in people who have had COVID, likely giving them protection even from the new variants.
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Teresa Rozza of Rockefeller’s Clinical Genomics Lab runs COVID saliva tests for the whole university community. (Matthew Septimus)

Study of “breakthrough” cases suggests COVID testing may be here to stay

April 21, 2021
Two new cases helped scientists confirm what many have come to suspect: that people can get infected by SARS-CoV-2 variants even after successful vaccination. The findings suggest continued testing may be needed to prevent future outbreaks in a post-vaccine world.
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A volunteer who has recovered from COVID-19 donates blood.

Rockefeller grants commercial license for the development of monoclonal antibodies for treatment of COVID-19

February 3, 2021
The treatment, a combination of two antibodies, has been shown highly capable of neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 in preclinical studies. Researchers hope it will give countries around the world, including developing countries, a way to control the rampant disease.
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COVID-19 vaccines may need regular updates for emerging variants

January 29, 2021
Lab experiments suggest that the new strains reported in Britain, South Africa, and Brazil may blunt the potency of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. This could mean that the vaccines will need updates as the virus mutates.
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Synthetic “micro lungs” could take COVID-19 research to the next level

January 20, 2021
Scientists have developed stem-cell technology to mass-produce tissue cultures resembling our breathing organs. These tissues offer a powerful model in which to study how SARS-CoV-2 wreaks havoc in the lungs and to screen for new drugs.
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The immune system mounts a lasting defense after recovery from COVID-19

January 18, 2021
The study participants continued to improve their antibodies months after initial infection, potentially due to exposure to the remnants of the virus hidden in the gut.
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The blood may hold clues to some of COVID-19’s most mysterious symptoms

January 15, 2021
COVID-19 causes a host of diverse complications, from lung inflammation to blood clots, heart failure, and brain fog. A team of scientists believes these attributes may have a single culprit—and that findings from research on Alzheimer’s disease might give them a leg up in finding it.
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Rockefeller begins testing of new COVID-19 antibody drug in people

January 14, 2021
Patients in the clinical trial will receive two highly potent antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 discovered at the university. Designed to prevent people with early COVID-19 from developing severe disease, the treatment is urgently needed as hospitals continue to be inundated by repeated surges of infection, and mass vaccinations are still months away.
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As COVID-19 vaccines emerge, the search for antiviral drugs continues

December 18, 2020
Scientists are digging through drug libraries of 430,000 compounds, in pursuit of an antiviral drug that can stop the novel coronavirus in its tracks.
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Royalty Pharma and Pablo and Almudena Legorreta Support Development of Antibody-Based COVID-19 Therapy at The Rockefeller University

December 17, 2020
Royalty Pharma and The Rockefeller University announced generous gifts totaling $5,760,000 from Royalty Pharma and Pablo and Almudena Legorreta.
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MEM41B proteins

Scientists map the network of SARS-CoV-2’s helpers inside human cells

December 16, 2020
The virus must hijack more than a hundred human proteins to replicate inside a cell. One of them stands out because it is an absolute requirement for infection by four different coronaviruses as well as by viruses that cause Zika, yellow fever, and other diseases.
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What bats can teach us about COVID-19

December 9, 2020
Unlike most humans, bats are naturally resistant to coronavirus infection. Researchers are now searching their genomes for clues that might explain why SARS-CoV-2 can cause devastating disease in our own species.
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Science fights back

November 6, 2020
Researchers have launched a tremendous race to understand the new virus and attack it from every angle. How they work and collaborate might never again be the same.
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SARS-CoV-2 particles isolated from a COVID-19 patient are docking onto a host cell

A mediocre mutator

October 15, 2020
Scientists developed a method to safely examine the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to escape future drugs or vaccines by mutating. Their initial results are reassuring.
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casanova lab photo

Scientists trace severe COVID-19 to faulty genes and autoimmune condition

September 24, 2020
The findings explain why some people are so vulnerable to the infection, and suggest new avenues for treatment.
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Bulgari Corporation to support Rockefeller's COVID-19 research and women scientists

September 9, 2020
Over the next three years, the fund will augment the university's wide-ranging research initiatives aimed at alleviating the COVID-19 pandemic, and also support the its women scientists in their training and careers.
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Scientists uncover antiviral protein that blocks coronavirus infection

September 2, 2020
New research identifies a protein that blocks infection by SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, along with several other types. The findings could inform treatment strategies and help us better prepare for future outbreaks.
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photo of Fabian Schmidt and Yiska Weisblum

Will SARS-CoV-2 escape future drugs by mutating? The answer may be a nuanced “no.”

August 10, 2020
Scientists hope to deploy antibodies in the quest to end COVID-19. A recent study moves them closer to accomplishing a key step: finding out if the virus may acquire resistance to antibody-based drugs or vaccines, and how to potentially prevent this.
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photo of SARS-CoV-2's helicase-polymerase coupling

A never-seen-before image of the coronavirus copy machine

August 7, 2020
The high-resolution 3D image can speed COVID-19 drug discovery.
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photo of cells

How toothless mock viruses could advance research on COVID-19

July 31, 2020
Scientists have engineered four viruses resembling SARS-CoV-2 to enable faster and safer research on vaccines and treatments.
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photo of hepatitis c helicase

Amid the rush for COVID-19 drugs, a case for the helicase

July 28, 2020
The enzyme is essential for the virus to replicate itself inside our cells. Scientists already have ideas for how to block it.
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photo of llama

How antibodies from llamas may lead to COVID-19 treatment

June 11, 2020
Llamas make antibodies that are much smaller than their human counterparts, yet still potent. Scientists hope that future drugs based on these molecules could provide new weapons against SARS-CoV-2.
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illustration of antibodies

First results from human COVID-19 immunology study reveal universally effective antibodies

May 25, 2020
New findings characterize human antibody response to SARS-Cov-2, with implications for convalescent plasma therapy, vaccine design, and antibody-based drugs.
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Kawasaki disease

Rockefeller scientists investigate life-threatening inflammation affecting children with COVID-19

May 15, 2020
The condition resembles a rare childhood illness, Kawasaki disease. Researchers are analyzing blood samples to find genetic clues to what might be causing it.
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DNA on a screen

The gene hunt to explain why some young, healthy people die from COVID-19

April 30, 2020
People under 50 without preexisting conditions typically develop mild symptoms of coronavirus infection—but there are exceptions. Researchers are working to identify rare genetic variations that may explain why some in this group have succumbed to the disease.
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A volunteer who has recovered from COVID-19 donates blood.

Scientists are using 'elite' antibodies from COVID-19 survivors to develop potent therapies

April 21, 2020
Most people infected with the coronavirus are able to fight it off because their immune system produces effective antibodies. Rockefeller scientists are working to turn such antibodies into a drug.
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Stavros Niarchos Foundation donates $3 million to Rockefeller COVID-19 research

April 14, 2020
The grant bolsters Rockefeller’s round-the-clock research initiatives related to COVID-19 and the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes it.
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BSL 3 Laboratory

Rockefeller scientists launch a broad range of studies into novel coronavirus

April 3, 2020
Over 130 scientists in 18 labs are conducting research to advance the development of new, urgently needed approaches for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
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How antibody therapy impacts COVID vaccinesDecember 6, 2022People who receive monoclonal antibodies before vaccines may benefit from increased coverage, due to antibody feedback inhibition.Rea