Media Coverage

  • Russell Outlines Rationale for COVID-19 Mucosal Vaccines [Fintech]
    A report that new intranasal vaccines for COVID-19 are promising because the nose is often where the virus enters the body quotes Michael W. Russell, PhD, professor emeritus of microbiology and immunology, who told MedpageToday: “By generating effective mucosal immune responses, it should be possible to forestall coronavirus infection from the outset, and also more effectively reduce transmission of the virus. Nasal immunization aims to replicate this natural immunization process in a more effective manner.”
  • Forget Vaccine Jabs — Next-Generation COVID-19 Pills and Nasal Sprays Are on Their Way [Fortune]
    Fortune quotes Michael W. Russell, PhD, professor emeritus of microbiology and immunology, in a story on concepts for next-generation COVID-19 vaccines that would not involve shots. “When you mention a vaccine to the general public, what pops into their mind immediately is a syringe,” Russell says, while noting that oral or nasal vaccines also hold potential for being very effective.
  • The Next Step in Covid-19 Vaccines May Be Through the Nose [Smithsonian Magazine]
    Smithsonian magazine quoted Michael W. Russell, PhD, professor emeritus of microbiology and immunology, for a story on the potential effectiveness of an intranasal COVID-19 vaccine. Early data is promising, but a marketable vaccine is still at least a year from becoming a reality. “For real control of the pandemic, what we want to do is not just prevent serious disease and death — as good as that is in itself — but we want to be able to break the chains of transmission,” Russell said. If such a vaccine existed, it would travel through the upper respiratory tract, encouraging the body to produce protective antibodies there. If successful, this immune response would both neutralize the virus on its way in before making a person sick, and ensure that no live virus escapes when they exhale, cough or sneeze.
  • The Future of COVID Vaccines? Look to the Nose
    Outlets referenced UB research in articles on the impact a nasal vaccine could give in ending the COVID-19 pandemic. A paper published by Michael W. Russell, PhD, professor emeritus of microbiology and immunology, states that mucosal immunity is critical to preventing COVID-19 infection, as the nose is the first line of defense against the coronavirus.
  • Researchers: COVID-19 Studies Should Also Focus on Mucosal Immunity
    A story about severe COVID-19 cases as well as the loss of taste and smell mentions a publication by UB researchers arguing that mucosal immunity should be a focus of more research into the novel coronavirus. The story quotes Michael W. Russell, PhD, professor emeritus of microbiology and immunology in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences: “Could it be that this is due to early mucosal immune responses that succeed in containing and eliminating the infection before it becomes serious? We will not know unless these questions are answered.”
  • Woman Suspected of Mailing Ricin Poison Tells President to ‘Give Up’ [WKBW-TV]
    A story reporting on a woman arrested at the Peace Bridge for sending a letter containing ricin to President Trump and others includes comments from Terry D. Connell, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology, who called ricin “a dastardly kind of weapon, no different from a gun, a bomb, a grenade, whatever.”
  • Neutrophils Are Key to Mounting an Effective Immune Response When Receiving a Pneumonia Vaccine [Medical XPress]
    Medical XPress picked up an article about Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences’ scientists exploring the nature of immunity after vaccination against Streptococcus pneumoniae, which causes pneumonia in people, have discovered that a specific type of white blood cell called neutrophils plays a more critical role than was previously known. “The idea behind our research is ultimately to make a better pneumonia vaccine,” said Elsa Bou Ghanem, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology.
  • New Yorkers Flattened the Curve, But … [True Meridian]
    Emily Blair Ivey, a student in the microbiology and immunology doctoral program, is among the co-authors of an editorial urging New Yorkers to be vigilant and maintain social distancing and other precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic. “[It] is not the time to become complacent or overconfident. With reports of several hundred new cases a day [in other cities], it is only a matter of time before the [New York City] is hit with a new surge, and all the hard work New Yorkers committed to for weeks will be for naught,” the authors write.
  • The Father of Autoimmunity: A Profile of Noel Rose [The Scientist]
    A profile of Noel Rose, MD, PhD, professor emeritus at Johns Hopkins University and an alumnus of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, notes that he is considered the “father of autoimmunity.” The story describes Rose’s arrival at UB in 1951 and his work with Ernest Witebsky, MD, resulting in the discovery that the immune cells of rabbits could destroy their own thyroid glands, ultimately leading to the discovery of what causes Hashimoto’s disease in humans.
  • Scientists’ Research Shows How Parasitic Infection Rewires the Brain
    Articles about research on a parasitic infection that causes seizures and psychiatric illness cites the work of Ira J. Blader, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology, who collaborated with the study. The lead researcher met Blader after he delivered a seminar at Virginia Tech. Blader studied Toxoplasma gondii and wanted to understand how specific strands of the parasite impacted the retina in mouse models.
  • UB-Licensed Technology Gains ‘Breakthrough’ Tag From FDA
    Several news outlets reported on UB partner company Garwood Medical Devices, which has been granted a “Breakthrough Devices” designation that will expedite review of the company’s BioPrax device by the FDA. BioPrax, developed to treat biofilm infections on prosthetic knee implants, was created using technology licensed from UB. The electrical stimulation method that BioPrax uses was developed through a multidisciplinary collaboration between the labs of Mark Ehrensberger, PhD, associate professor of biomedical engineering, and Anthony A. Campagnari, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of microbiology and immunology.
  • Coffee Cups Carry Lots of Germs [HowStuffWorks]
    An article on HowStuffWorks about how often people should wash their coffee cups interviews Terry D. Connell, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology. “Streptococci, staphylococci and any number of resident or transient oral bacteria, which may include potential pathogens, may reside in unwashed cups,” Connell said. “And, of course, if someone else should drink from one’s cup, bacteria from their mouths can be transferred into it.”
  • Faculty: Vigilance Needed to Prevent Botulism [Self]
    Thomas A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and John K. Crane, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, provided their knowledge on the subject after a recent outbreak of foodborne botulism in California.
  • Campagnari Develops New Model to Shed Light on Secondary Bacterial Pneumonia
    Anthony A. Campagnari, PhD, senior associate dean for research and graduate education and professor of microbiology, immunology and medicine, is quoted in a report on a new UB study that has developed a model for how the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus can trigger severe, sometimes deadly secondary bacterial pneumonia in some people who are subsequently infected with influenza A virus.
  • Blader Research Shows Parasite Alters Signaling in Brain [Medical Xpress]
    A report on a research study that found the parasite that causes Toxoplasmosis alters neural pathways specifically related to the neurotransmitter gamma-Aminobutyric acid, or GAMA, quotes Ira Blader, associate professor of microbiology and immunology.  “Our work is the first showing that an infection can alter this enzyme’s localization in the brain,” he says.