MolecularCloud September Newsletter: Winners Announced of 2020 Distinguished Research Awards


After two-month fierce voting competition, 2020 MolecularCloud Distinguished Research Awards will be given to:
Dr. Zheng-Li Shi and her team at the Wuhan Institute of Virology;
Dr. David Veesler and his team at the University of Washington;
teams of Dr. Bert Schepens and Dr. Xavier Saelens at the VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology, and Dr. Jason McLellan’s team at the University of Texas at Austin.

MolecularCloud Distinguished Research Awards aim to recognize and honor those research achievements which have made significant impact on the studies of COVID-19 and the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes it. There are three categories of the award, covering: epidemiological studies and Virology, structural biology, as well as vaccines and therapeutics studies. The awards this year go to the teams whose publications have received most votes in each category. 

Epidemiological studies and Virology

Award-Winning Team: Dr. Zheng-Li Shi's team at the Wuhan Institute of Virology
Award-Winning Publication: A Pneumonia Outbreak Associated with a New Coronavirus of Probable Bat Origin (Learn more)
Nomination Reasons: The researchers reported the identification and characterization of the 2019 novel coronavirus shortly after the pandemic began. Notably, they confirmed that 2019 novel coronavirus uses the same cell entry receptor-angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2) as SARS-CoV.
Result: Dr. Zheng-Li Shi's team received 985 votes and 2 comments from our users.

Structural Biology

Award-Winning Team: Dr. David Veesler's team at the University of Washington
Award-Winning Publication: Structure, Function, and Antigenicity of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Glycoprotein (Learn more)
Nomination Reasons: The findings presented in this article provide a structural framework to identify conserved and accessible epitopes across S glycoproteins that will support ongoing vaccine design efforts. Besides, elicitation of diverse, polyclonal Ab responses might prove key in light of the diversity of viruses circulating in animal reservoirs and in preventing the possible emergence of viral neutralization escape mutants.
Result: Dr. David Veesler's team received 622 votes and 11 comments from our users.

Vaccines and Therapeutics Studies

Award-Winning Team: Collaborative research team comprising Dr. Bert Schepens' and Dr. Xavier Saelens' teams at the VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology and Dr. Jason McLellan’s team at the University of Texas at Austin