NEIDL’s COVID-19 Work Featured in The New Yorker
BU NEIDL’s COVID-19 Work the Subject of a New Yorker Profile
“COVID was the raison d’être for creating NEIDL,” director Ronald Corley tells the magazine
In a feature published Thursday on The New Yorker website, staff writer and physician Jerome Groopman profiles the painstaking research on COVID-19 at Boston University’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) and how its scientists are meticulously working to develop a vaccine for the virus that has claimed the lives of more than 630,000 people worldwide. In the piece, titled “The Long Game of Coronavirus Research,” Groopman argues that while fast-developed vaccines make headlines, more calculated work is just as critical.
While the Trump administration has promised that a vaccine will be available by the end of the year, scientists aren’t so sure. After all, it’s been more than four decades since the emergence of HIV/AIDS, and no vaccine for that virus yet exists. Doctors are just beginning to understand the intricacies of the coronavirus (which only came to the world’s attention in January)—how it affects patients, how it is transmitted, and who is at greatest risk of complications and death, as well as its long-term effects. NEIDL researchers, led by director Ronald Corley, a School of Medicine professor, have been working with live samples of the coronavirus since March and often collaborate with the wider research community.
“From the outset, [Corley] organized the center’s COVID-19 research on the presumption that it would be, as recent evidence has borne out, an evolving target—and that progress would more likely come from a cluster of approaches than from a single breakthrough,” Groopman writes. “Its approach represents the polar opposite of the ‘warp speed’ language popularized for the public.”
“COVID was the raison d’être for creating NEIDL,” Corley says. “The pandemic fulfills its mission.”
Read the full article here.
Fascinating article. Kudos to the BU administration for green lighting the NEIDEL lab. From day one there was ferocious local opposition to building the lab in a densely populated urban environment. BU went to extraordinary lengths to satisfy requirements to get to level 4, spanning a decade of infrastructure upgrades. What the University and the Federal government understood was that Boston writ large was unmatched in its pool of intellectual talent. It now seems that NEIDEL will be a game changer in solving this awful medical crisis.
I was fortunate enough to attend a tour of the NEIDEL before any of the labs were occupied, so we were taken through Level-1 (lab table work) all the way through to the Level-3 and Level-4 spaces. From the front gate and throughout the entire facility, the security and safety measures were very impressive.
I echo Jonathan’s comment that Boston was a perfect spot for this facility, as world leading specialists work and live this area.
I wonder how these brilliant Boston University scientists , lab workers , and reasearchers who are working tirelessly to find a vaccine for covid feel about losing there retirment?