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The READDI Forethought team brings together a coalition of researchers from Duke, NC Central University, NC State, RTI, and UNC-Chapel Hill — including UNC School of Medicine’s Nat Moorman, PhD — to accelerate development of new broad-spectrum antivirals.

COVID-19 has presented unprecedented challenges for people around the world. Public health experts have been working to lessen its impact on individuals and communities while also preparing for future viral pandemics. New viruses continue to emerge—more frequently than ever before—and we lack the antiviral therapeutics needed to quickly combat these viruses. Strategic research partnerships integrating scientists with different complementary expertise are essential to accelerate the discovery of novel broad-spectrum antivirals.

How is the READDI Forethought team responding to the public health challenge?

The READDI (Rapidly Emerging Antiviral Drug Development Initiative) Forethought team brings together a coalition of researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University and RTI to address this challenge.

Chosen as the inaugural awardee of Forethought: The RTI $5M+ Research Collaboration Challenge—led by RTI leadership in partnership with the University Research Collaboration Committee of RTI’s Board of Governors—the READDI Forethought team brings together experts in virology, medicinal chemistry, biological screening, and artificial intelligence to develop innovative methods to help solve the world’s most critical problems.

“It has been an amazing experience to work with this exceptionally talented group of researchers from across the region on such an important problem—preparing for the next pandemic,” said  READDI co-founder Nat Moorman, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at the UNC School of Medicine and Forethought team leader.

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