issues and experts

SFU experts available on Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine agreements

August 05, 2020
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CONTACT:

Jamie Scott, Faculty of Science/Health Sciences, (+1) 626.567.2345; jkscott@sfu.ca

Felix Breden, Faculty of Science, (+1) 626.567.2354; breden@sfu.ca

Shradhha Sharma, University Communications and Marketing, 604.202.2504, shradhha_sharma@sfu.ca

Canada’s newly signed agreements with drug companies to develop vaccines hold the promise of stopping the spread of COVID-19. SFU researchers Jamie Scott and Felix Breden can weigh in on what happens next and how the process works.

Both are retired professors now living in California. Scott has spent decades specializing in vaccine-related research.

A professor emeritus in molecular biology and biochemistry (MBB) and founding member of SFU’s Faculty of Health Sciences, Scott has focused her research on antibody responses and their application in the development of HIV/AIDS vaccines. Breden, a professor emeritus in biology, is the scientific director of the iReceptor Plus consortium, which houses the world’s largest database of T and B cell receptor repertoires—more than four billion sequences, including 200 million sequences from COVID-19 patients around the globe. The data are free, shareable and available to the scientific community, as well as drug companies at work on therapeutics and vaccines to fight the pandemic.

“iReceptor Plus provides the only repository from which data from multiple COVID-19 studies can be compared with each other, and contains a large collection of immune receptor sequences from diverse diseases, laboratories and institutions,” says Breden, noting that iReceptor’s gateway serves as a unique resource for sharing among geographically distributed and independent institutions.

“This allows seamless access to almost limitless amounts of data, which should greatly accelerate COVID-19 research efforts.”

 

About Simon Fraser University: 

As Canada’s engaged university, SFU works with communities, organizations and partners to create, share and embrace knowledge that improves life and generates real change. We deliver a world-class education with lifelong value that shapes change-makers, visionaries and problem-solvers. We connect research and innovation to entrepreneurship and industry to deliver sustainable, relevant solutions to today’s problems. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – SFU has eight faculties that deliver 193 undergraduate degree programs and 127 graduate degree programs to more than 35,000 students. The university now boasts more than 160,000 alumni residing in 143 countries.