Express Mouse Model for Corona

Nissim Lior , HUJI, School of Medicine - IMRIC, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Dor Yuval , HUJI, School of Medicine - IMRIC, Developmental Biology and Cancer Research


Animal models are required to study the SARS-COV-2 viral infection as well as to test new vaccines and drugs. Normal procedure dictates that first mice and rats will be infected with the virus and then tested with various treatment protocols.

Rodents, however, are not susceptible to COVID-19 infection since the virus only interacts with the human version of the ACE2 proteins in the lungs, and cannot interact with the mouse version. The conventional solution to this problem, which requires genetic engineering (or the breeding of existing engineered mice), unfortunately requires many months of valuable time.

The Nissim Lab is proposing a solution that will allow the immediate generation of a mouse model by delivering the human ACE2 proteins into mouse lungs via an engineered virus carrying the human gene. The engineered virus will be able to infect the mouse lungs, integrate into the mouse genome, and generate the ACE2 receptor, thereby enabling the mouse to be infected with the COVID-19 virus.

The Nissim Lab has already designed engineered carrier viruses, allowing consistent or time-controlled presentation of the human ACE2 in the lungs. In addition, they have added synthetic peptides and membrane anchors to some ACE2 variants to enhance the display of this receptor in mice. 

With the appropriate support, the lab will produce large amounts of concentrated engineered ACE2 delivery virus and deliver it into mice, who can then be tested with multiple candidate drug and vaccination treatments currently being developed and researched.

Contact for more information:

Ariela Markel
VP, Business Development, Healthcare
Contact ME:
All projects by:Dor Yuval (5) | Nissim Lior (2)