Virginia Tech researchers create global COVID-19 data repository

Virginia Tech's Molecular Sciences Software Institute launched a shared, open-source resource to help scientists worldwide battle the spread of COVID-19.

The MolSSI team created an open-source website for biomolecular scientists to share drug testing simulations targeting the host protein at the center of COVID-19. They started work on the site about a month ago, after researchers expressed interest in sharing their COVID-19 simulation modeling data.

The science community views MoISSI as a multi-university institute and neutral party, which allows its website to act as a legitimate hub for an open-source repository. 

"The hub is designed so researchers of all specialties can find data most beneficial to them based on their starting point," said MolSSI software scientist Levi Naden. "Focusing heavily on the targeting modalities which can disrupt the SARS-CoV-2 viral life and infection cycles, anyone can jump into their domain of expertise and get the inputs and outputs they need to help contribute."

Creating the resource was a worldwide effort, including collaborative efforts from BioExcel, the European Union-based Centre of Excellence for Computational Biomolecular Research and the European Organization for Nuclear Research. 

MolSSI's quick response also resulted in a $200,000 National Science Foundation RAPID COVID-19 grant.

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