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Lead researchers at the University of Texas at Austin wasted little time at the end of last year crafting the first 3D atomic scale of the part of the coronavirus that attaches to and infects human cells. Jason McLellan, a molecular biologist, and his team, in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, then shared the spike protein model with scientists around the world.
Nearly a year later, at least four of the leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates and antibody therapies — including bamlanivimab — are using the technology developed in the McLellan Lab. Bamlanivimab recently received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration. On Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott spoke about distribution of the treatment for coronavirus patients with mild to moderate symptoms before they require hospitalization.
Watch McLellan discuss next steps for the vaccine rollout and why he says he plans to vaccinate his entire family, once one or more contenders are proved safe and effective for all ages.
Jake Sam contributed to this report.
Disclosure: University of Texas at Austin has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.