COVID-19 vaccines are using suboptimal antigens: What will next-generation vaccines be like?

The emergence of vaccine-resistant variants suggests a complicated endemic scenario in the vaccination aftermath for COVID-19. The situation prompts us to enquire whether the antigen adopted by extant vaccines, the trimeric spike (S) protein, is the optimal in the sense of inducing an immunity that leaves the virus with no evolutionary route of evasion. The […]

Did Covid-19 vaccines pick the right antigen? Interview with Ariel Fernandez by Weishi Meng

Our guest today is Dr. Ariel Fernandez, the former Karl F. Hasselmann Chair in Bioengineering at Rice University, now director of the Daruma Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Pharmaceutical Research. Ariel Fernandez authored nearly 500 peer-reviewed professional papers, four books and several biotech patents. He recently turned his attention to COVID-19 for obvious reasons, and […]

The Birth of Epistructural Biology

By Weishi Meng Linus Pauling, the most gifted physical chemist that ever lived, once said that the realization of the relevance of the hydrogen bond, a relatively weak molecular force, gave birth to Structural Biology. He also said that there was more to it, a sort of meta-analysis of structural biology that was still missing. This he […]

Ariel Fernandez – Selected Publications

Selected publications of Ariel Fernández Ariel Fernandez Bibliography: 430 publications total. Ariel Fernández, Tobin R. Sosnick and Andrés Colubri: “Dynamics of hydrogen-bond desolvation in folding proteins”, Journal of Molecular Biology 321, 659-675 (2002). Ariel Fernández and Harold A. Scheraga: “Insufficiently dehydrated hydrogen bonds as determinants for protein interactions”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, […]

Inefficent selection as enabler in the evolution of human complexity

Rice University News Summary: A painstaking genomic and proteomic analysis has found a new evolutionary mechanism that accounts for some of the biological complexity of human beings. The scientists who found the mechanism say it helps humans cope with the consequences of inefficient natural selection. It fosters complexity by enabling human proteins to become more […]