Results of scientific research and the related patent registration information have shown that Ralph Baric could be called the first person who synthesized a coronavirus.
Baric, a 67-year-old professor of epidemiology and microbiology and immunology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill), has been exploring the field of coronaviruses for more than 30 years and has his own lab.
He successfully created "an infectious clone of the urbani strain of the SARS coronavirus" by July 2003 at the US "Army's top bio-level three labs in Maryland," according to an article published by UNC-Chapel Hill in 2003.
Baric's team had synthetically reconstructed the bat variant of the SARS coronavirus (CoV) that caused the SARS epidemic in 2003, according to a report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in 2008.
Meanwhile, his team owns multiple patents concerning synthesized viruses, according to the related US websites.
Baric co-owns a patent "Methods for Producing Recombinant Coronavirus", with Patent Number 7279327, according to justia.com.