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LU researcher gets federal grant to amp up the fight against the coronavirus

Stefan Siemann, professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, gets $200,000 from the CFI for a key piece of equipment

(November 13, 2020) Laurentian University is excited to announce that one of our researchers will get a  boost from the federal government in his effort to fight the coronavirus. 

Stefan Siemann, a professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, is already deeply entrenched in efforts to tame the virus; he is part of a global network of experts using 3-D imaging technology to find potential weaknesses in the cell structure of SARS-Cov-2, the virus responsible for the current pandemic. This week, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) announced that Dr. Siemann will receive $200,000 for two pieces of equipment which will bring his efforts to the next level. 

The equipment, a fluorometer and a microplate reader system, will prove essential to helping Dr. Siemann and his team investigate an enzyme called Mpro. Vital in the replication of the virus, the researchers' end game is to find a compound that will block Mpro from replicating more cells of SARS-Cov-2. This will, in theory, halt or diminish the spread of the virus. 

This grant is one of 79 projects being funded through the CFI's Exceptional Opportunities Fund. Announced recently, the funding includes $28 million for similar projects at 52 institutions across Canada, as part of the federal government's larger commitment to bring the devastating effects of the pandemic to heel. 
"The research infrastructure funding announced by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry could not have come at a better time for scientists in Canada including Laurentian’s Dr. Stefan Siemann.  We are incredibly proud of Dr. Siemann and his research collaborators who are using advanced scientific tools and novel methods in the fight against COVID-19." Tammy Eger, Vice-President, Research, Laurentian University