Discoveries in Action Podcast Episode 2 - Vaccines: Pandemics vs. Prosperity

September 4, 2020

How did the social good and necessity of vaccines get up for debate? Hear from vaccine experts on what they think lead to vaccine hesitancy, and then why it’s increasingly important to buoy people’s understanding of the science. In short, there are more pathogens lurking that could cause harm -- and they hopscotch around the world faster. But technology and research is in a sprint to stay ahead. Tune in to Vaccines: Pandemics vs. Prosperity.   Check out episode 2 of the podcast here!

How a secretive Pentagon agency seeded the ground for a rapid coronavirus cure

Paul Sonne
July 30, 2020

The scientists were working through the night over a weekend in February in their Vancouver offices, running a blood sample from an early American covid-19 survivor through a credit card-sized device made up of 200,000 tiny chambers, hoping to help save the world. Their mission was part of a program under the Pentagon’s secretive technology research agency. The goal: to find a way to produce antibodies for any virus in the world within 60 days of collecting a blood sample from a survivor.

Research team isolates antibodies that may prevent rare polio-like illness in children linked to a respiratory infection

July 3, 2020

Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Purdue University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have isolated human monoclonal antibodies that potentially can prevent a rare but devastating polio-like illness in children linked to a respiratory viral infection. The illness, called acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), causes sudden weakness in the arms and legs following a fever or respiratory illness. More than 600 cases have been identified since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began tracking the disease in 2014.

Antibodies eye Pacific Island “fever”

Bill Snyder
May 14, 2020

Ross River fever is a mosquito-transmitted disease endemic to Australia and surrounding Pacific Islands. There is no specific treatment or vaccine for Ross River virus (RRV) infection, which causes rash, fever and debilitating muscle and joint pain lasting three to six months. 

Analysis of a Therapeutic Antibody Cocktail Reveals Determinants for Cooperative and Broad Ebolavirus Neutralization

Sarah Glass
April 2, 2020

Structural principles underlying the composition of protective antiviral monoclonal antibody (mAb) cocktails are poorly defined. Here, we exploited antibody cooperativity to develop a therapeutic mAb cocktail against Ebola virus. We systematically analyzed the antibody repertoire in human survivors and identified a pair of potently neutralizing mAbs that cooperatively bound to the ebolavirus glycoprotein (GP). High-resolution structures revealed that in a two-antibody cocktail, molecular mimicry was a major feature of mAb-GP interactions.