UTC researcher seeking new ways to diagnose, treat coronavirus

Dr. Michael Danquah is conducting research into the unique characteristics of certain proteins in the novel coronavirus, with a goal of making detection of the virus simpler.

The aim is to develop “probes” that will use proteins as targets to diagnose COVID-19 and provide targeted treatment opportunities.

“The project is in its preliminary stage at the moment, but we hope to make considerable strides by the end of summer,” Dr. Danquah explained.

The results of this research will be an integral part of proposals that will be submitted to the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation for possible funding, he added.

Dr. Danquah serves as associate dean of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s College of Engineering and Computer Science and director of the Chemical Engineering program.

Dr. Danquah’s research targeting COVID-19 is going on through the SimCenter at UTC. Along with providing $20,000 for the project, the SimCenter’s supercomputers are capable of quickly crunching massive amounts of data. They can also create computer-based models of the research’s biological components down to the molecular level.

Dr. Danquah joined UTC after more than a decade of professional experience in academia and industry. His research findings are well published and cited with more than 230 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, conference publications and technical reports.

He has served as a consultant to various companies including agricultural, pharmaceutical and biofuels industries; and his research has received several awards and recognitions.

Dr. Danquah is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ (AIChE) minority affairs community and faculty forum, and is active in mentoring early career academics. The SimCenter is the foundation for multidisciplinary research at UTC, serving not only as a research accelerator for innovative concepts and laboratories, but also acting as the university’s core for high-performance computing and storage.

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