Published in: Berkeley Neuroscience News | May 20, 2020

Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute (HWNI) faculty members Stephen Brohawn, Diana Bautista, Hillel Adesnik, and Markita Landry have received funding to address the urgent problem of COVID-19.

Brohawn, who normally studies ion channels in the context of neural signaling, has begun a project to find drugs that target an ion channel in the membrane of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. He teamed up with Bautista and Adesnik, who also study ion channels, and was awarded $100,000 from Fast Grants to support the project. Brohawn says it could potentially result in a treatment while vaccines are still under development.

Landry, who develops nanosensors to study complex biological systems, was awarded seed funding from CITRIS and the Banatao Institute for a project to develop a rapid, reversible, and portable testing device that would detect active SARS-CoV-2 infections. By facilitating fast, broad, and repeated testing of individuals, it could provide critical information about the extent of infection in communities.

To read more about these and other University of California projects to study COVID-19, visit: