Research by MSI PI Fang Li (professor, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences) and colleagues has revealed the structure of spike proteins in the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2. The differences in this structure from the original coronavirus explain why omicron is so transmissible and why it can get past vaccination protection. The paper was published in the journal Nature Communications: Cryo-EM Structure of a SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Spike Protein Ectodomain. The paper was featured as a Research Brief recently on the University of Minnesota website: How Omicron Infects Cells While Evading Immunity.
Professor Li uses MSI resources to further investigations into the structural and molecular basis of human diseases including virus infections and cancer.