Duke University — COVID-19 Antiviral Studies (Timothy Haystead)

Open Philanthropy recommended a grant of $14,355 to Duke University to enable Professor Timothy Haystead to collaborate with researchers at UC Davis and the Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University to study the effectiveness of an Hsp90 protein inhibitor as a host-directed antiviral against the COVID-19 virus.

This follows our May 2020 support for earlier phases of the study at Duke University and falls within our work on scientific research, specifically our interest in science supporting biosecurity and pandemic preparedness.

Duke University — COVID-19 Antiviral Studies (Ria Goswami)


Grant Investigators: Heather Youngs and Chris Somerville

This page was reviewed but not written by the grant investigators. Duke University staff also reviewed this page prior to publication.


Open Philanthropy recommended a grant of $130,982 to Duke University to support initial studies, led by postdoctoral researcher Ria Goswami, on the effectiveness of Hsp90 protein inhibitors as host-directed antivirals against the COVID-19 virus.

This falls within our work on scientific research, specifically within our interest in science supporting biosecurity and pandemic preparedness.

Duke University — CRISPR-Based Epigenome Editing Tools (Charles Gersbach)

Grant Investigators: Chris Somerville and Heather Youngs

This page was reviewed but not written by the grant investigators. Duke University staff also reviewed this page prior to publication.

The Open Philanthropy Project recommended a grant of $2,550,171 over three years to Duke University to develop tools to apply epigenome editing to refine genome wide association studies (GWAS). The work will be led by Charles Gersbach, the Rooney Family Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering. This funding will support research to develop CRISPR-based epigenetic tools to interrogate thousands of regions of DNA, allowing for more nuanced studies of genomic regions identified through GWAS. The grant will also fund testing and verification of the tools by identifying loci implicated in schizophrenia, a poorly understood disorder.

This grant falls within our interest in funding scientific research, and specifically within our interest in developing tools and techniques.

Duke University — Co-Crystallization of Hsp70i and Inhibitor HS-72 (Timothy Haystead)


Grant investigator: Chris Somerville
This page was reviewed but not written by the grant investigator. Duke University staff also reviewed this page prior to publication.

The Open Philanthropy Project recommended a grant of $81,500 to Duke University to support work on the co-crystallization of Hsp70i and the inhibitor HS-72. The work will be led by Dr. Timothy Haystead, Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at the Duke University School of Medicine. Funding from this grant will allow Dr. Haystead to pay a specialized company to determine the molecular structure of the human Hsp70i protein in a complex with HS-72, and to hire a summer intern to support his antiviral and inhibitor work.

According to our science advisors, determining the molecular structure of Hsp70i may help optimize a class of broad-spectrum antiviral drugs that are active against diseases such as dengue. This grant falls within our work on scientific research.

This is a discretionary grant.

Update: In May 2018, we added $32,000 to the original award amount for additional work on the project. The “grant amount” above has been updated to reflect this.