Harnessing the Human Immune System: Why Antibody Treatments Might Just Work Against COVID-19

In the race to develop a safe, effective treatment for COVID-19, biotech companies like Regeneron and Vir Biotechnology, led by Cornell alumni, have turned to antibodies — which are naturally created by the human immune system — as a form of therapeutic treatment.
But what are antibodies, and how can they be repurposed into drugs to help people recover from COVID-19?

Intravenous ImmunoGlobulin Shortage Impacts Patients Nationwide

Intravenous Immunoglobulin is a biological drug made from the blood of healthy people and delivered into the blood of sick people to help them replace the malfunctioning components of their own immune system. Currently, its supply is at an all-time low.

Student Spotlight on Bailey Willett ’20: Combating Antigenic Drift in Influenza Viruses

In 2009, the world saw the first influenza pandemic in more than forty years in the form of the H1N1 strain. Although response to this variant was fast and a vaccine quickly developed, the fight against influenza hasn’t ended. Bailey Willett ’20 continues to be a part of this fight as a Cornell undergraduate researcher working to combat the new strains of influenza that appear every year. Willett works alongside graduate student David Buchholz in the Aguilar-Carreno Lab of Microbiology and Immunology doing research concerning antigenic drift, one of influenza’s greatest hidden weapons. According to the Centers for Disease Control, antigenic drift is an abrupt change in the glycoprotein receptor makeup of the virus.

Student Spotlight on Melissa Page ’20: Researching an Optimal Response to Allergies

Corrections appended. There are few things that can put a damper on an end of summer evening in upstate New York, but allergies are one of them. The classic watery eyes, incessant sneezing, and insatiable back of throat itch one feels while relaxing on Libe Slope or hiking to Second Dam can be attributed to little molecules called allergens, and our bodies response to them. Yet pollen isn’t the only thing that can send one running for a tissue or bathroom. Many compounds in the environment including plants, food and insect product can cause full scale immunological responses and Melissa Page ’20 has set out to better understand why.