RECETOX Research Infrastructure helps fight the Covid-19
RECETOX RI (RECETOX Research Infrastructure) supports the research in the environmental and health sciences. The core facilities include the long-term environmental and population studies, biobanking capacities, chemical and biological labs, as well as extensive environmental and population databases and information systems providing samples, data and services with a high added value. An important part of RECETOX RI activities are the educational and training programmes focused on capacity building and knowledge transfer. RECETOX RI supports implementation of newly accredited study programmes of environmental health sciences and computational biology and biomedicine educating professionals capable of working in the public health sector and contributing to development of public health policies. Teachers, students and alumni of these programmes currently support the Government of Czechia in managing the pandemic outbreak of Covid-19 by analysing, interpreting and modelling the available population data needed for development of population-protecting strategies and IT tools.
RECETOX RI is also fighting the pandemic outbreak of Covid-19 by the virtual screening. The in-house software tool CaverDock can be applied for virtual screening of potential drugs against protein targets identified in the context of coronavirus pandemic. CaverDock has been developed during the last four years and is publicly available at website https://loschmidt.chemi.muni.cz/caverdock/. To the best of knowledge of RECETOX RI team, CaverDock is currently the only tool, which can computationally study the process of binding of inhibitors to protein tunnels and channels and it is sufficiently fast to allow screening of very large libraries of molecules. In this case, RECETOX RI will analyse all the FDA-approved drugs, as well as the experimental drugs, which would allow re-purposing and fast application for the treatment of the patients. Molecular targets will be selected from the structures of viral proteins, as well as human proteins known to interact with the virus. Essential computing power will be provided by the supercomputing centre of Masaryk University and research infrastructure ELIXIR (European Life-Science Infrastructure for Biological Information).
RECETOX RI is currently coordinating EIRENE (European Environmental Exposure Assessment Network), an emerging ESFRI project to be submitted later this year with a goal of filling the identified gaps in the environmental and health area of the existing ESFRI Roadmap. Implementation of the EIRENE project will contribute to building necessary capacities for a harmonised collection, analysis and interpretation of population health data in Europe in support of future public health strategies.
RECETOX Research Infrastructure