Newswise — Experts from the University of Alabama at Birmingham are avaliable to comment on the state of COVID-19, including the development of an investigational compound  at UAB, next steps for a vaccine, what the state of the outbreak looks like, what concerns health officials have, risk to Americans and more. 

Richard Whitley, M.D., is an infectious disease researcher and clinician, and his NIH-funded research here at UAB has set the foundation for the investigational drug remdesivir to be used in treatment of novel coronavirus in patients in the U.S. and in China; the link above has more information about how Whitley and his team developed the compound of remdesivir, now released on a compassionate plea basis by Gilead Sciences. He can specifically talk about the development of a therapy for an outbreak such as this and what could be on the horizon in terms of mutations with the strain. He can also shed light on the effectiveness of quarantines and other related breaking updates.

Jeanne Marrazzo, M.D., MPH, director of UAB’s Division of Infectious Diseases, is part of an ID Leadership group that is overseeing the work of 9 national Vaccine & Treatment Evaluation Units through the NIH. Specifically, she is helping to spearhead next steps to get the first vaccine candidate for novel coronavirus into a VTEU led study hopefully by April. She can comment more broadly on what’s been reported, where people’s concerns need to lie, general prevention/safety tips, and more. She’s a great general ID resource for outbreaks such as this.

Both Whitley and Marrazzo are available for interviews by phone, email or for live or recorded interviews via LTN Global & ISDN from the UAB News Studio.