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.