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Presenter: Daniela Kalafatović

Title: SARS-COV-2 Supramolecular Mimetics for Discovery of Peptides That Induce Viral Entrapment (μCroTrap)

Duration: 15 min.

 

Abstract: μCroTrap aims to mimic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) by self-assembly of peptide fragments of the receptor-binding motif (RBM) of the spike protein (S-protein), present at the surface of the virus. Peptide sequences inspired by RBM will contain patches of residues involved in the Angiotensin-converting-enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor binding. Sequences will be rationally engineered to be amphiphilic with the aim to drive their assembly into higher order spherical aggregates, resembling the supramolecular architecture of SARS-CoV-2. These supramolecular virus-mimetics will be screened by phage display for the discovery of peptide binders with adaptive conformation towards the supramolecular architecture and high affinity for the minimalistic RBM binding sequence. The antiviral potential of the lead peptides will be analyzed computationally. These sequences will be further engineered to form fibrous nanostructures upon binding to the S protein, leading to virus entrapment by gelation in-situ, thus inhibiting binding of SARS-CoV-2 to the receptors of host cells.

 

Biography: Daniela Kalafatovic is currently working as Assistant Professor at the Department of Biotechnology, University of Rijeka. Her research is focused on peptide nanotechnology. She gained her Master Degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Trieste (2010) and the PhD in Physical Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde (2015). During her post-doctoral training she worked as research associate at the Nanoscience Initiative, Advanced Science Research Center, City University New York in the field of peptide nanotechnology and later as a Marie-Curie COFUND post-doctoral fellow at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine Barcelona in the field of medicinal chemistry. She authored 8 publications (Nature Chemistry, Nature Cell Biology, ACS Nano, Biomaterials, Chemical Communications etc.), presented 19 times at conferences, received 7 grants for participation at conferences and 2 awards for the best talk and poster.

 

Contact:
Daniela Kalafatović, Ph.D.
University of Rijeka, Department of Biotechnology, Croatia
gsm: +385 915385354
email: daniela.kalafatovic@uniri.hr

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