New 'Short Talks' Explores Researchers Drive to a Coronavirus Vaccine

Assistant chemistry professor Mahmoud Moradi.
Photo Submitted

Assistant chemistry professor Mahmoud Moradi.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Mahmoud Moradi’s work might be the unconventional strategy for developing a coronavirus vaccine.

Only weeks after the virus broke in the United States, Moradi, an assistant professor of chemistry in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, was granted access to Frontera, a supercomputer sponsored by National Science Foundation. It allowed him to build dynamic, three-dimensional simulations of coronavirus spike glycoproteins.

In this new episode of Short Talks From the Hill, a research podcast of the University of Arkansas, Moradi explains how the spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, bind to human cell receptors. He then discusses what his simulations have revealed so far and why these findings are important.

“Because the activation of this region itself is important, the conformational, the structural change of this region itself is very important,” Moradi says in the podcast, “there might be ways of designing drugs that stop this region from even being activated. That's a completely different strategy that the simulations — that we are currently running — might be able to provide some framework for.”

To listen to Moradi discuss his research, go to, the home of research news at the University of Arkansas, or visit the "On Air" and “Programs” link at

Short Talks From the Hill highlights research and scholarly work at the University of Arkansas. Each segment features a university researcher discussing his or her work. Previous podcasts can be found under the ‘Short Talks From the Hill’ link at

Thank you for listening!

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among fewer than 3 percent of colleges and universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Matt McGowan, science and research writer
University Relations


Arkansas Alumni Association Announces New Board Members

The Class of 2023 for the Arkansas Alumni Association’s National Board of Directors began work on July 1.

Arkansas Union to Re-Open in July

The Arkansas Union will reopen its entire facility beginning Monday, July 6. Hill Coffee Company will also re-open on Monday, July 6, with a limited menu. Club Red Union remains open 8 2 p.m. weekdays.

School of Art High School Summer Workshop Presents Virtual Exhibition 'Together Apart'

The U of A School of Art recently hosted the second annual summer workshop for high school students that concluded with an online exhibition, 'Together Apart.'

Civil Engineering Graduate Student Awarded American Water Works Association Scholarship

Civil engineering doctoral student Samuel Hodges has earned the American Water Scholarship to further his research into sample gathering technology for use in drinking water.

GPSC Shifts Funds to the Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Food Pantry

The Graduate-Professional Student Congress donated nearly $1,000 worth of food and other needed products to the Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Campus Food Pantry.

News Daily