For one year now, we have been involved in several research projects. In response to an urgent need for a SARS-CoV-2 replicative virus, we developed all the necessary tools for SARS-CoV-2 manipulations in BSL3 laboratory. We use our fully replicative SARS-CoV-2 model to understand viral replication and its cellular control (collaboration with AC Maurin, INRAE Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) and develop inhibitors and novel antiviral strategies.
Our group coordinates the ANACONDA project (ANR Flash Covid-19, “Fondation de France”) with the group of H. Wodrich and the CHU. ANACONDA started in April 2020 and uses fully differentiated human airway epithelia derived from biopsy samples, provided by our partner T. Trian (CRCTB), to investigate viral infection and the associated inflammatory response. These parameters will be correlated using epithelia from patients with different risk factors (age, gender, COPD). We are also supported by the “Nouvelle-aquitaine region” and the University of Bordeaux to go further with this model to select and identify potential SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors.
In addition, we are partners of the ANR Flash Covid-19 “VasCOV” directed by Andreas Bikfalvi to evaluate the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on blood vessels using a unique 3D model. We are also involved in a project evaluating UVcLED inactivation of the virus coordinated by Y. Deshayes (funded by the IdEx UB-C19 SPARK Covid) and an other one to study the role of convertases during viral replication coordinated by M. Khatib (SBM/STS department and SPARK Covid).
The team is involved in a participative science project, the D-mask consortium aiming at using household microwaves to “clean” face masks.