NSM Faculty/Staff Newsletter

From the Office of the Dean

NSM Researchers Making a Difference in Fight Against COVID-19

NSM faculty members are part of the fight against COVID-19.

Seamus Curran of Physics is using a hydrophobic coating he developed almost a decade ago to improve the ability of surgical masks to protect against transmission of the virus. Shay has done several media interviews with the work being featured on local television (ABC, CBS and Univision), as well as the Houston Chronicle and Houstonia magazine.

In Biology & Biochemistry, Shaun Zhang, director of the Center for Nuclear Receptors & Cell Signaling, is in the preclinical stage of testing vaccine candidates, which have been given to animals to evaluate the ability to generate neutralizing antibodies for COVID-19 protection. Frank McKeon and Wa Xian in the Stem Cell Center are lead investigators collaborating with UT Medical Branch to investigate whether alterations they discovered in the stem cells of patients with chronic lung diseases, including high levels of the virus receptor, render these patients susceptible to poor outcome following COVID-19.

Now more than ever, the efforts of researchers worldwide are needed to find ways to detect and protect against COVID-19. UH and NSM are part of that effort.