St. Jude on Viruses: 5 Discoveries to Explore

5 virus discoveries

Explore some of the discoveries chronicled in the series St. Jude On Viruses.

Hi, I’m Dr. Josh Wolf from the St. Jude Department of Infectious Diseases, and here are 5 Discoveries to Explore about Viruses.

Joshua Wolf, PhD, MBBS, Department of Infectious Diseases, breaks down 5 Discoveries to Explore about Viruses.

Discovery One

Scientists, led by Dr.  Charlie Russell, studied how the hemagglutinin protein affects flu transmission. They found that the stability of this protein impacts infection, which may help predict future flu pandemics because viruses with more stable hemagglutinin are more able to jump between species.

Find out more: St. Jude flu fighters: Researchers tackle influenza virus.

Discovery Two

RSV, respiratory syncytial virus, is the number one cause of hospitalization in infants worldwide. Dr. Octavio Ramilo and Dr. Asunción Mejías uncovered correlations between immune response, disease severity and viral load — the amount of virus in the upper respiratory tract. Higher viral was paradoxically associated with better outcomes, perhaps because of stronger immune responses.

Find out more: Pulling the curtain back on the RSV window of vulnerability.

Discovery Three

At St. Jude, Dr. Aditya Gaur is leading clinical trials to study long-acting injectable antiretroviral medications to treat HIV. These newer ways of administering HIV medication are designed to make it easier for patients to stick to a treatment regimen.

Find out more: There from the beginning: The evolution of HIV research and care at St. Jude.

Discovery Four

The St. Jude Tracking Study of Immune Responses Associated with COVID-19 enrolled more than 1,000 St. Jude employees who volunteered to participate in research at the start of the pandemic. Data from the study is still being used to understand T-cell responses to infection and answer other important questions about the impact of COVID-19.

Find out more: Why are we still studying COVID-19?

Discovery Five

Dr. Robert Webster, a St. Jude emeritus faculty member, is known worldwide for his work on bird flu. He identified wild waterfowl as the natural reservoir for bird flu and discovered that the virus can skip directly from birds to humans. His work set the stage for influenza research today.

Find out more: Field-changing bird flu research has a long history – and bright future – at St. Jude.

About the author

Josh Wolf, PhD, MBBS, is an associate faculty member and clinical investigator of the Infectious Diseases Department and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. View full bio.

More Articles From Josh Wolf

Related Posts

Why do Black women have the highest cervical cancer mortality compared to all other groups in the United States? 

Bridging the gap: Psychological support for teens and emerging adults with cancer

Expanding access to genetic research and care

Stay ahead of the curve