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During the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, Anne Moscona didn’t feel safe going to a restaurant or catching a flight. And she wished she could feel confident that she could see her immunocompromised relatives without inadvertently spreading the novel coronavirus to them. All this made her work personal: for the past decade, Moscona, a molecular virologist, had been hunting for compounds that could stop viruses in their tracks, before the pathogens infect even a single cell in a person’s body.