Time is the most important factor in the fight against coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Large research infrastructures in the Czech Republic, such as CEITEC Masaryk University, are therefore offering priority access, free of charge, to their equipment in shared laboratories, including research expertise for research that may lead to the development of a vaccine or drug against COVID-19.
Czech, as well as international researchers, who are involved in research related to the new coronavirus or COVID-19 disease, can take advantage of the modern research facilities specialising in structural biology. CEITEC Masaryk University, and BIOCEV, the shared centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences and Charles University, are both offering their services.
“The current pandemic shows the strategic social importance of life sciences and that we are prepared, among other things, by having core facilities with the best international standards,” concluded Jiri Nantl, Director of CEITEC Masaryk University.
Both centres are offering their research infrastructures and professional scientific expertise, which will allow for the study of the virus structure and its interaction with the environment, down to the atomic level.
“This has a crucial meaning in the search for a suitable cure against this novel illness, whether in the form of a vaccine or drug. Both institutes have state-of-the-art equipment, which is absolutely unique in the Central European context, and they can fully supplement other European centres that are currently closed due to the spreading pandemic,” said Vladimir Sklenar from Masaryk University. He coordinates the Cryo-electron microscopy laboratory, X-ray diffraction, and nuclear magnetic resonance diffraction at both institutions in the scope of the Czech Infrastructure for Integrative Structural Biology (CIISB).
Starting this week, all research teams from the Czech Republic and abroad can participate in a special open call, which allows for faster approval and priority access to necessary laboratory equipment (at CEITEC Masaryk University and BIOCEV) for all projects that are targeting research on the novel coronavirus. “The laboratory instruments and the expertise of our research technicians will be offered free of charge, and the related research cost will be covered by the Ministry of Education,” added Sklenar.
CEITEC´s researchers will only be working on previously delivered samples. Due to the currently strict safety and hygienic rules, it is impossible to allow external researchers to enter the shared laboratories. If you are a researcher and wish to request priority access, please submit a research proposal with „COVID-19“ in the title of the proposal, through the online application system HERE. You can find out more information on the CIISB website HERE.