UWEC Faculty publish research article about COVID-19

Dr. Sudeep Bhattacharyay and Dr. Sanchita Hati working on their computer-based research on COVID-19.
Dr. Sudeep Bhattacharyay and Dr. Sanchita Hati working on their computer-based research on COVID-19.(UWEC)
Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 1:31 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Chemistry faculty at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire have published a research article in the ACS Omega about how COVID-19 interacts with human cells, which could help in research to treat COVID-19 symptoms through changes in behavior.

Dr. Sudeep Bhattacharyay and Dr. Sanchita Hati published “Impact of Thiol–Disulfide Balance on the Binding of Covid-19 Spike Protein with Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 Receptor” in the publication done by the American Chemical Society.

“It all started during the spring online session when we were confined at home, and were curious about this new coronavirus disease, and why certain underlying conditions made patient outcomes so much more severe,” Bhattacharyay says. “Because we had seen research showing that oxidative stress had implications in the outcomes of the influenza virus and HIV infections, we decided to explore the COVID-19 infection and its severity under oxidative stress.”

Hait says, “to understand the molecular basis for the variations in the severity of the COVID-19 infection, we examined the effect of redox changes on the binding of the viral spike protein to our cell surface receptor using computational tools.” 

The Blugold Supercomputing Cluster made their research possible. Students, including Carl Fossum and Jessica Liebau, contributed to the computer-based research.

Hati and Bhattacharyay suggest that lifestyle changes can change the severity of infection.

“The things we can do are to get more and better sleep, eat a healthy diet rich in antioxidants and increase exercise,” Hati says. “All of these things can reduce oxidative stress, which in turn can potentially reduce severity of COVID-19 infection.”

They’re hoping to aid in vaccine development and are working on more research to contribute to the conversation.

Copyright 2020 WEAU. All rights reserved.

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