Hebrew University receives $1 million for COVID-19 lab, programs

Hebrew University receives $1 million for COVID-19 lab, programs

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has announced a $1 million gift from Brad and Sheryl Schwartz in support of a bio-safety lab and research initiatives focused on COVID-19, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Made through the American Friends of Hebrew University (AFHU), the gift will support the establishment of a biosafety-level-3 lab where researchers can investigate the structure of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. To that end, researchers will use computational and genetic engineering strategies to test individual components of the virus and identify those that stimulate an immune cell response. When complete, the lab will make it possible for researchers to do direct-contact research with live virus, in contrast with other labs around the world that are only focusing on the "spike" protein component of the virus.

"By building a BSL-3 facility, Hebrew University will be able to continue engaging in cutting-edge research to develop solutions to lethal or infectious diseases such as SARS-CoV-2," said Sheryl Schwartz. "This is important for the biotech industry, Israel, and the world."