Dr. Ciro Piccirillo.
Dr. Ciro Piccirillo, in collaboration with his colleagues at the Coronavirus Variants Rapid Response Network (CoVaRR-Net), is investigating the effects of several SARS-CoV-2 variants on immune responses, which is crucial for understanding whether variants will be able to evade the effects of vaccines. Dr. Ciro Piccirillo is overseeing national efforts to understand how variants influence the response of T cells, a type of immune cell that is essential for instructing the production of antibodies, which the body uses to pin down and attack foreign invaders. Dr. Piccirillo and his team are setting up a pipeline that will include experts who will be able to pinpoint components of the virus mutation and will develop tests that can determine whether T cells can effectively respond to those changes. Once that data are obtained, Piccirillo explains, they will be used to help those involved in developing vaccines.

Our ultimate goal is to come up with concrete nuggets of information that are sufficiently informative to public health officials, to tell them whether a given variant is of true societal interest in the near future. Time is truly of the essence here. Dr. Ciro Piccirillo

Read more on the McGill Health e-News website.


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