Year 2 Project

CoVaRR-Net Researchers

Anne-Claude Gingras, Lunenfeld Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sinai Health System; Lead of Pillar 4: Functional Genomics & Structure-Function of VOCs, and Project Lead

Etienne Caron, Université de Montréal, Pillar 4 Deputy
Darryl Falzarano, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), University of Saskatchewan, Pillar 3 Deputy
William (Rod) Hardy, Lunenfeld Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sinai Health System, Pillar 4 Member
François Jean, University of British Columbia, Pillar 10 Lead
Vivian Liu, McGill University, Pillar 4 Member
Jason Moffat, University of Toronto, Pillar 4 Deputy
James Rini, University of Toronto, Pillar 4 Deputy
Mikko Taipale, University of Toronto, Pillar 4 Member
Joyce Wilson, University of Saskatchewan, P4 Member
Nozomu Yachie, University of British Columbia, Pillar 4 Deputy

CoVaRR-Net Collaborators

Mark Brockman, Simon Fraser University, Pillar 1 Deputy
Louis Flamand, Université Laval, Pillar 3 Lead
Jennifer Gommerman, University of Toronto, Pillar 1 Co-Lead
Jason Kindrachuk, University of Manitoba, Pillar 2 Deputy
Marc-André Langlois, University of Ottawa, CoVaRR-Net Executive Director
Samira Mubareka, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Research Institute, Pillar 2 Deputy
Nazeem Muhajarine, University of Saskatchewan, Pillar 8 Co-Lead
Ioannis Ragoussis, McGill University, Pillar 5 Lead
Angela Rasmussen, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), University of Saskatchewan, Pillar 2 Lead
Jesse Shapiro, McGill University, Pillar 6 Co-Lead


Vinod Chandran, University Health Network
Steven Drews, Canadian Blood Services
Michelle Hladunewich, Sunnybrook Hospital
Atul Humar, University Health Network
Deepali Kumar, University Health Network
Eric Marcusson, Providence Therapeutics
Allison McGeer, University of Toronto
Mario Ostrowski, University of Toronto
Pontus Nordenfelt, Lund University
Brian Raught, University Health Network
Tania Watts, University of Toronto
Heidi Wood, National Microbiology Laboratory

Lay Summary

Our goal is to improve technologies that can characterize the function of variant proteins. To do so, we aim to generate reagents to study individual variant proteins and test variant protein-host interactions in isolated systems.

For Year 2, we will focus on three objectives:

  1. Develop the technology to test more than one spike protein variant at a time. With current technologies, only one variant may be tested at a time, which represents a limitation to compare variants and anticipate what combination of mutations on the spike protein may become important for future variants.
  2. Use protein sequencing technologies to study how protein fragments from the virus are presented to cells of the immune system (T cells). This will expand our understanding of how mutations in viral proteins outside of the spike protein affect interactions with host proteins.
  3. Use computational tools to help us predict which spike proteins among the large repertoire found in animal coronaviruses are likely to be able to bind with human coronavirus receptors. These results will form the basis of preparation for future coronavirus-derived pandemics.


$625,000 cash contribution