Understanding the biological principles that underlie the mechanisms by which infectious agents adapt to and undermine the defense mechanisms of a host organism is critical for the development of therapeutic agents to fight disease. The LaMontagne Center for Infectious Disease conducts basic and translational research into the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis of bacterial, viral, parasitic, or fungal infections and strategies for their prophylaxis and therapy. The LaMontagne Center was established at The University of Texas at Austin in November 2013 as the Center for Infectious Disease (CID) and was renamed just over three years later for scientist and public health champion John Ring LaMontagne. The LaMontagne Center, while located within the College of Natural Sciences, is composed of highly interdisciplinary researchers spanning at least four colleges: Natural Sciences, Engineering, Pharmacy, and the Dell Medical School.
Infectious Disease News
The most complete picture yet is coming into focus of how antibodies produced in people who effectively fight off SARS-CoV-2 work to neutralize the part of the virus responsible for causing infection. In the journal Science, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin describe the finding, which represents good news for designing the next generation of vaccines to protect against variants of the virus or future emerging coronaviruses.
Remdesivir is currently the only antiviral drug approved in the U.S. for treating COVID-19 patients. In a paper published this week in Cell Reports, researchers from The University of Texas at Austin, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai showed that four drugs used to treat hepatitis C render remdesivir 10 times better at inhibiting the coronavirus in cell cultures.
A highly contagious SARS-CoV-2 variant was unknowingly spreading for months in the United States by October 2020, according to a new study from researchers with The University of Texas at Austin COVID-19 Modeling Consortium. Scientists first discovered it in early December in the United Kingdom, where the highly contagious and more lethal variant is thought to have originated. The journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, which has published an early-release version of the study, provides evidence that the coronavirus variant B117 (501Y) had spread across the globe undetected for months when scientists discovered it.