Microsoft offers grant for Covid-19 research to Shoolini University Scientists

Microsoft offers grant for Covid-19 research to Shoolini University Scientists
Team Careers360 | May 18, 2020 - 4:25 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The Microsoft Artificial Intelligence for Health Programme has allowed a team of scientists from Himachal Pradesh based Shoolini University to conduct research on finding drugs to cure and prevent COVID-19. The entire project has been funded through the High Performance Computing (HPC) Consortium. Gurjot Kaur, Associate Professor, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, also the team lead will be having access to Microsoft Azure credits for the next six months to perform work using Microsoft licensed resources, that is, online platforms and virtual machines.

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During the project, the team will perform much needed screening of phytochemical constituents for anti-viral activity through interaction with COVID-19 specific targets using molecular modeling studies. Indian medicinal herbs have the same or similar phytoconstituents and do show potential as anti-COVID-19 drugs. Also, it will directly influence the antiviral drug development for COVID-19 and thus has high impact.

Kaur said, “the current number of infected COVID-19 patients is on a rapid rise. While the government has implemented social distancing and a month-long lockdown, these are not good long-term solutions for the spreading pandemic. A more viable idea would be to invest in development of medicinal drugs both for prophylaxis as well as treatment of patients already infected with the virus”.

Many existing antiviral medications are being tried in the hope to slow or even cure the severely affected patients and thus, decrease the mortality rate. Unfortunately, none of the current medication strategies are optimum and vaccine development will take more than one year, she added.

P.K Khosla, Shoolini University Vice Chancellor said that the University would extend all its support for the project.

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