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Interviewer: Professor Crowe,
thank you for taking the time today to
discuss the research being done in
your lab on SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.
To start things off, could you please give
an overview on what is happening in this
research into antibodies which could
be used against SARS-CoV-2 infection?
Prof. Crowe: Sure, thanks for
having me and I'm happy to tell you
about the work our group is doing.
Of course it's a large team effort,
not only at my laboratory at Vanderbilt
University Medical Center in Nashville,
but with many collaborators
around the country.
Obviously, in January it became
evident that this virus was going to
cause problems all over the world.
The first case in the United States
occurred in the third week of January,
and we activated our team
at about that time to
make human monoclonal antibodies that
might be used for prevention or therapy,
they could also be used for diagnostic
tests or even characterizing vaccines.
Antibodies are typically pretty important
in the overall response to an epidemic,
so we launched our research program.
We focussed completely on human
monoclonal antibodies from survivors of
natural infection, so what we did
initially was we spent a lot of
time identifying the first dozen or
so cases in the United States and
contacting them and
offering enrolment in our studies.
A number of the very first cases
did participate in our studies and
we were able to isolate thousands of
monoclonal antibodies from blood samples
from these individuals, we're pretty much
finished with that discovery phase and
now we've moved on to
characterizing the antibodies.