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RESEARCHERS from the University won first place for a study proposing computer-aided screening of natural products to detect their effectiveness in fighting SARS-CoV-2 proteins.

The research team, led by Prof. Allan Patrick Macabeo of the Department of Chemistry, won best poster presentation in the bioinformatics and computational biology category of the 47th Philippine Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (PSBMB) annual convention on Dec. 4 for their paper, “Concerted virtual screening of myxobacterial natural products reveal dual inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins.”

The team conducted computer-aided drug screening on natural products and evaluated their potential in targeting proteins found in SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, said Joe Anthony Manzano, a medical biology student and member of the team, in an interview with the Varsitarian.

Results of the study showed that natural products or compounds produced by living organisms found in myxobacteria (slime bacteria) were potential drug candidates against SARS-CoV-2.

Joining Macabeo and Manzano were Rey Arturo Fernandez, Mark Tristan Quimque, Kin Israel Notarte, Delfin Yñigo Pilapil IV, John Jeric San Jose, Omar Villalobos and Von Novi De Leon.

Manzano also bagged first place in the PSBMB Young Scientists’ Forum for his paper, “Antimicrobial activity and COX-2 modulatory effects of tetrahydro bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloids from Phaeanthus ophthalmicus: Validation of ethnomedicinal use from in vitro and in silico perspectives.”

The paper is about bacterial conjunctivitis, commonly known as sore eyes. It addresses the problem of antibiotic resistance through research on various natural products.

Medical biology juniors Von Novi De Leon and Delfin Yñigo Pilapil IV were named runners-up. M.D.M.P Reyes




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