UChicago researchers have created the first usable computational model of the entire virus responsible for COVID-19—and they are making this model widely available to help advance research during the pandemic.

“If you can understand how a virus works, that’s the first step towards stopping it,” said Prof. Gregory Voth, whose team created the model published in Biophysical Journal. “Each thing you know about the virus’s life cycle and composition is a vulnerability point where you can hit it.”

Voth and his team drew on their previous experience to find the most important characteristics of each individual component of the virus, and drop the “less important” information to make a computational model that is comprehensive but still feasible to run on a computer. This technique is called coarse-graining, which Voth and his students have helped to pioneer.

The model was published in Biophysical Journal.

Read more at UChicago News. 

Graphic: Credit Yu et al., “A Multiscale Coarse-Grained Model of the SARS-CoV-2 Virion,” Biophysical Journal (2021)