IBP Professor Gives Lecture on Biotechnology in Fighting against COVID-19

Prof. ZHANG Xian-En from IBP gives a lecture at IHB on Dec. 9. (Credit: IHB)

As of December 9, 2020, there have been 67 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 1.5 million reported deaths. What is the relationship between human and virus?    

Prof. ZHANG Xian-En from Institute of Biophysics (IBP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences was invited to Institute of Hydrobiology (IHB) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences on December 9 to give a lecture with the title of “Biotechnology in Fighting against COVID-19” for the faculty and students of the institute.    

The COVID-19 is an RNA virus that enters human body and replicate inside the body. It is transmitted through human-to-human contact, and can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome   

Chinese scientists shared the complete genome sequence of the novel coronavirus with the world once it had been identified, traced the COVID-19 origins, and developed rapid test kit for the virus.    

In his lecture, Prof. Zhang introduced some essential facts about COVID-19, and explained the progress in the COVID-19 treatment.    

Vaccines are effective means in the prevention and spread of COVID-19. The spike protein is the part of the virus that enables it to enter the cells. Targeting the S protein, many different vaccine types have been developed, such as inactivated vaccines and nucleic vaccines. Currently, five Chinese vaccines are under phase-III clinical trials.     

Prof. Zhang, towards the end of his lecture, appealed to scientists for joint efforts to fight against COVID-19.    

Prof. Zhang has been active in interdisciplinary sciences, specializing in biosensors, nanobiology and analytical pathogen microbiology. His recent research directions include molecular/nano biosensors for biological events in live cells, viral/microbial elements-derived nano-biosensors, and portable biosensors for health care.