From the cancer vaccine to the COVID-19 vaccine
Published on May 28, 2020
IRIC recently announced that Dr. Claude Perreault and his team had won the Discovery of the Year Award by Québec Science. A promising project involving the eventual development of a cancer vaccine, the result of the work of an entire team. Tariq Daouda was still a member of that team not so long ago. Today, the young investigator is flying solo and is currently a Research fellow at Harvard Medical School. He, in turn, is now leading a promising research project that uses artificial intelligence to help develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
A project developed in close collaboration
With his team, notably made up of former IRIC students, Tariq uses an algorithm to predict which parts of the virus will be exposed on the surface of infected cells and thus generates a list of potential targets that can be exploited to create a vaccine. This technology developed during his Ph.D. was done with the involvement of several of our investigators with complementary expertise. The algorithm was originally developed for cancer immunology applications and is now used to create an interactive platform capable of predicting these potential COVID-19 vaccine targets. The team recently published very encouraging preliminary results that are available to the scientific community on the site:epitopes.world.
IRIC is actively involved in training the next generation of scientists. Our students, like Tariq Daouda, represent the next generation of investigators and are the pride of our Institute. And those are the scientists who will find the solutions of the future.
On another note, the current situation, related to the COVID-19 pandemic, is undermining the career path of many students. It is more vital than ever to assist them because the future of research depends on supporting that next generation. Help us continue our mission of training the investigators of tomorrow.
Photo credit: Amélie Philibert