Blog Post

Changing The Shape Of The “Molecular Key” That COVID-19 Uses to Enter Human Cells

By Robert Kriss, C2ST Editor

Scientists are attacking the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus, which causes Covid-19, from two different angles. One approach is to develop a vaccine to prevent infection. The other approach is to find a cure for people already infected. 

Continue reading “Changing The Shape Of The “Molecular Key” That COVID-19 Uses to Enter Human Cells”


Science From the Frontlines: Sanitizer & Spirits

Join C2ST and KOVAL for a virtual tour and tasting while Dr. Sonat Birnecker Hart guides us through the production of hand sanitizer!

KOVAL Distillery is known for creating a line of organic & kosher whiskey, gin, and specialty spirits using unique grains, a signature “heart cut” technique, and only the absolute best quality ingredients. As one of the largest independent and woman-owned craft distilleries in the US, KOVAL is frequently awarded internationally for its bright flavors and eye for design.

As of March 2020, KOVAL has shifted its operations to help provide alcohol-based sanitizer to those on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19. To date, they have donated over 3,000 gallons of sanitizer to Chicagoland first responders and community organizations. Through a virtual tour, get an inside look into how a distillery transitions to produce hand sanitizer and sip along during an optional virtual tasting as Dr. Hart answers questions live.

More info on purchasing sanitizer and contributing to their donation efforts can be found here:


Science From the Front-lines Gender Disparity in COVID 19 Cases

Join C2ST for our 5th Science from the Front-lines program and learn how the severity and manifestation of COVID-19 symptoms are impacted by gender!

Gender differences in COVID-19 disease severity have been described in multiple countries, with reports indicating that men often experience more severe disease and greater mortality. Dr. Kovats will summarize available information about the observed gender differences in COVID-19 severity and outline possible social and biological explanations for this gender disparity. One hypothesis is that men and women differ in aspects of the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. After a brief primer on the innate and adaptive arms of the immune system, Dr. Kovats will review the evidence for sex differences in immune function in humans and animal models and describe how androgens and estrogens modulate immunity. She will explain how COVID-19 patient blood samples might be used to understand the gender differences in immune responses at the molecular and cellular level.


Science from the Front-lines Racial Disparity in COVID 19 Cases

Join C2ST and our panel of local experts for a panel discussion on health inequalities and how they are contributing to COVID-19 rates. Across the United States, tracking COVID-19 has indicated disproportionate rates affecting African American and Black communities. For Chicago, this means taking a closer look at the experiences of Southside and Westside communities. While research is in the initial stages, examining existing inequalities and what they mean for a community’s health provides insight into this ongoing issue.