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  • Writer's picturePam King Sams

Looking Back on Forty Years Studying Coronaviruses

Susan Weiss, PhD, a professor of Microbiology and co-director of the new Penn Center for Research on Coronavirus and Other Emerging Pathogens, is no stranger to that infamous spike protein. In a new paper, Weiss details her history studying coronaviruses, including SARS1, MERS, and now SARS-CoV-2, and highlights some of the major findings in coronavirus research made before the current epidemic and how they can inform current research on the newly emerged virus.

“While far from my comfort zone of molecular biology, [coronaviruses] were a new and exciting direction to explore. During the 1980s and 1990s, we made fundamental discoveries using the animal model, which was greatly enhanced in later years by the use of genetically modified viral strains by reverse genetics,” Weiss said. “Indeed, my career evolved in parallel to coronavirus research.”

Read the paper in the Journal of Experimental Medicine →

Read more of her reflections in The New Yorker →

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