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The Making of Medicine

A Map to Victory Over Viruses

Our Wladek Minor, PhD, has been calling for better preparation for the next pandemic. Now he's created something powerful for just that purpose.

Minor, of our Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics, and an international team of collaborators have developed an Internet information system called virusMED that offers a map to victory over viruses. The system lays out all scientists know about the atomic structure and potential vulnerabilities of more than 800 virus strains from 75 different virus families, including SARS-CoV-2, influenza, Ebola and HIV‑1.

Minor likens the resource to Google Maps in that it organizes and annotates major points of interest on a virus -- points of interest that may prove important in drug and vaccine development.

“The battle with COVID-19 is not over yet, but we cannot wait to start preparing for the next pandemic," Minor warns. "VirusMED is a step towards an advanced information system that brings together researchers with diverse expertise to tackle complex biomedical challenges."

Many of Minor's collaborators on the projects are former students in his lab. He takes great pride in that, and in all the accomplishments of his lab alumni. He even keeps up with them online. Nice to see such wonderful mentorship, and to see something so useful and timely come from it.

VirusMED is available for scientists to use for free at

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