Immunologist to discuss COVID-19 research in Sept. 30 Kopriva lecture
From the MSU News Service
Marziah Hashimi, a doctoral candidate in microbiology in the Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology at Montana State University, will discuss research into how bats can harbor coronaviruses without developing disease symptoms for the Kopriva Science Seminar Series.
The lecture, “Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) Infection in a Bat Gastrointestinal Organoid Model,” is at 3:10 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 30, in the Procrastinator Theater in the Strand Union Building. The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.
SARS-CoV-2 infection causes the disease COVID-19, which has resulted in more than 4.3 million deaths worldwide over the past 20 months. In addition to respiratory symptoms, COVID-19 can induce nausea, vomiting and diarrhea in more than half of infected patients, indicating that the coronavirus infects both the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts.
Bats are thought to be the original reservoir for SARS-CoV-2, which is 96% identical to the bat coronavirus RatG13, identified in the gastrointestinal tract of horseshoe bats. However, coronaviruses do not usually cause overt disease in the bats, whereas structural changes were observed in cells lining the human respiratory and gastrointestinal systems upon SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Hashimi’s research compares how cells in the intestines of bats and humans respond to SARS-CoV-2 infection to better understand the cellular mechanisms that allow bats to carry the virus without symptoms.
The Kopriva Science Seminar Series is funded through an endowment created by Phil Kopriva, a 1957 microbiology graduate from MSU. Kopriva also created an endowment to fund the Kopriva Graduate Fellowship Program, which provides support and opportunities for graduate students in the College of Letters and Science, particularly in the biomedical sciences. The series features four to six seminars annually, with talks provided by MSU graduate students, faculty members and guest speakers. For more information about this and other Kopriva lectures, visit www.montana.edu/lettersandscience/kopriva/ or call 406-994-4288. •