“Pathogens and their ability to invade is an important theme,” says Associate Professor Jean-Philippe Julien. “The job now is to develop anti-viral drugs that can block that invasion.”

How AI is enabling COVID-19 research

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In an age of COVID-19, the phrase “business as usual” has nearly lost all meaning for Canadians who have seen their lives disrupted in myriad ways.

That includes researchers Jean-Philippe Julien and Costin Antonescu as they work to find antiviral drugs that can fight the disease that is paralyzing countries around the world.

“Speed is the key,” says Julien, an associate professor in U of T’s departments of biochemistry and immunology and a senior scientist in molecular medicine at the Hospital for Sick Children who focuses his work on developing a vaccine for HIV and malaria. “That’s what is making research into COVID-19 different. We normally take a linear approach, going step by step, selecting a few candidate drugs or therapies and slowly moving them forward with testing over several years….


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