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Growing the future

The University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is an engine of scientific discovery, with researchers working across the spectrum of agricultural and life sciences. Academically, the college offers research-based, hands-on teaching of undergraduates; world-class graduate programs rich in research and project assistantships; and short courses, workshops and other programs. Our outreach activities bring the work of the college to Wisconsin businesses, organizations and communities throughout the state. Learn more about CALS.

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The treatment works against the current version of the virus but also the other viruses in the family that are out there now — and could be in the future.

CALS Faces

Laura Walker

In the fight against COVID-19, public attention has largely focused on vaccines. But researchers around the world have been racing to find treatments, too. As the chief scientific officer at biotech company Adagio Therapeutics, Laura Walker BS’07 helped develop a monoclonal antibody, laboratory-designed protein, for the new coronavirus. Walker and her team worked with a blood sample from a survivor of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), which was responsible for a global epidemic in 2002-04 to develop the antibody. Its practical use will depend on how many people choose to be vaccinated for COVID-19 and how well the vaccines perform. The antibody could be administered to someone who is not vaccinated but has a known exposure, and it may be needed if the virus mutates or a similar virus emerges again in the future.

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