The COVID-19 pandemic sometimes, to the average Joe, seems like it came out of nowhere. Within a year, our lives were deeply changed: We now wear masks in public, we don't have any sort of gatherings anymore and some of us are still afraid to leave the house.

Because COVID-19 progressed so quickly, many researchers began to scramble to find a cure, including those at Colorado State University, who focused primarily on helping scientists create a vaccine. Their work is not over: Scientists at CSU are still working hard on four COVID-19 vaccine candidates, according to a press release. But that's not all: These researchers are also making sure Colorado is prepared for the next pandemic.

Ray Goodrich, director of the Infectious Disease Research Center at CSU, is working on a "pan-coronavirus vaccine" called SolaVAX, teaming up with other universities to forward the research. The team is using an "animal model" to see if this vaccine, which uses UV light and riboflavin to stimulate the immune system, will actually be successful in fighting a new or existing virus.

Dr. Marcela Henao-Tamayo, an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology at CSU and a member of Goodrich's team, noted that their research is helping combat future threats:

We’re seeing an investment from the federal government to protect against a possible virus that we know is coming, based on what we’re experiencing. (Source)

By working together, these local scientists think they're ready for whatever comes next.

To read more about the CSU research advances, read the full story here. 

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The NoCo Virus Tracker articles are made possible by our partners, the Keep NoCo Open campaign that reminds citizens to wear a mask, wash your hands, physically distance and support local as Northern Colorado recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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