December 31, 2019, it was the last day of 2019. We were still immersed in the happiness of new year eve, while the unprecedented catastrophe was just looming over the land of China. On January 3, Wuhan Health Commission issued a bulletin about ‘viral pneumonia of unknown cause’. This marked the beginning of an endemic pneumonia, whose dangers were not seriously taken until WHO confirmed the persistent ‘human-to-human’ transmission of the new pneumonia, and the rest is history

A War Between Virus and Human

It is a war between human beings and virus. Although human beings have learned valuable experience from numerous catastrophes before, they are still at a loss in the face of such unknown new pathogens. SARS-CoV-2 binds with angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor on cells like alveolar endothelial cells and facilitates the coronavirus infection. The virus is so insidious that COVID-19 patients have flu-like symptoms or even no symptom in the incubation period. As the disease progresses, patients display symptoms like anorexia, diarrhea, myalgias and eventually develop to sepsis and multi-organ diseases. Currently there are over 300 ongoing trials concerning COVID-19 treatment. Those trials include antiviral thrapies, immune modulators, anticoagulants and vaccines. However, those trials encountered seemingly insurmountable obstacles. It seems that human beings are at a disadvantage in the war against SARS-CoV2




The Original Intention of Our Team

The initiative of our project originated in an conversation with the doctors who once engaged in the fight against COVID-19. The clinical manifestations of COVID-19 is the upregulation of cytokines, and cytokine release syndrome is the main cause of death for those severe patients. So we aimed to eliminate the virus as well as containing the release of cytokines

An Overview of Our Project

This year we developed a novel CAR-Macrophage therapy which can induce prominent virus phagocytosis and barely cytokine release. The whole project was based on a chimeric antigen receptor with immunologically silent property for virus clearance, which showed great potential in treating severe COVID-19 cases

What did we design

We held interviews with medical workers to learn about their stories and sent letters to health authorities to express our concerns. We also participated in conferences to achieve substantial communications and cooperations with other teams. Education was also implemented in our community to help people learn more about COVID-19 and synthetic biology. Those feedbacks we got in human practices episode offered us invaluable ideas on project improvement

What have we implemented