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UTSA professor recognized by World Health Organization for COVID-19 research


UTSA Assistant Chemistry Professor Francis Yoshimoto is receiving recognition for his COVID-19 research. - COURTESY / UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT SAN ANTONIO
  • Courtesy / University of Texas at San Antonio
  • UTSA Assistant Chemistry Professor Francis Yoshimoto is receiving recognition for his COVID-19 research.
A University of Texas at San Antonio professor's work on COVID-19 has been cited twice by the World Health Organization — one of the most significant recognitions a research scientist can rack up.

UTSA assistant chemistry professor Francis Yoshimoto wrote The Proteins of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS CoV-2 or n-COV19), the Cause of COVID-19, which focused on the proteins found in the virus causing COVID-19. That paper was published in The Protein Journal in May 2020.

It was subsequently cited by the World Health Organization it in its Diagnostic Testing for SARS-CoV-2: interim guidance in September, and the research has received more than 130 citations in other papers.

Yoshimoto's second paper, A Biochemical Perspective of the Nonstructural Proteins (NSPs) and the Spike Protein of SARS CoV-2, focused on identifying additional proteins associated with the virus. That research was also published by The Protein Journal in February 2021.

Yoshimoto's primary fields of research are malaria and obesity, so viruses are outside his normal area of expertise. Even so, his recent papers grabbed enough attention that he earned a spot a guest editor for a future issue of The Protein Journal.

"I wasn't expecting to be cited by the WHO, and I am glad that my research was able to make a positive impact," Yoshimoto told the university's UTSA Today blog. “Little was known about SARS-CoV-2 at the time, and I felt compelled to make a useful tool to aid in global research efforts."

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