UI Health Researchers on the Forefront of Pandemic Responses
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Dr. Lijun Rong of the College of Medicine is leading a team of researchers who are developing antiviral therapy for filoviruses such as Ebola. The work is part of a larger effort with the National Institutes of Health and researchers from across the country to establish a center for antiviral drug development for pandemic-level viruses, the Midwest Antiviral Drug Discovery Center. Dr. Rong’s lab has identified potent inhibitors against filoviruses, arenaviruses, influenza viruses, henipavirus, HIV, and SARS2, and is receiving $3 million in funding to develop an antiviral for Ebola. The team aims to have the drug ready for testing in humans within three to five years.