University Of Maryland School Of Medicine, Associate Professor, Baltimore discussed on Science Friday
To join us to talk about Reflections about that experience and give us an update. He's an associate professor in microbiology and immunology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. Welcome back. Thank you for having me again listening to those clips of yourself eight months ago. What's the difference between where you were then and compared to today? Well, I thought I was very tired of that moment. Eight months ago, I didn't realize how much more tired I could possibly get. But I think that what it reflects is that this obviously we all are going through this remarkable pandemic over the last year at the time it months ago, we knew that was this was going to spread. This was going to be a very big deal around the world. I certainly don't I don't think anyone could predicted the numbers of cases that we are seeing right now. It's still in the midst of it. Like you say the virus you work on is now out in the real world, and there are still record numbers of cases and deaths. How does it feel for you to be a corona virus researcher right now. I think it feels for all of us that we We have a very important role in this especially all of the labs that it worked on Coronaviruses. Previously. The driving force in my lab over the last year has been working with companies and developing therapeutics that they've developed or we're working with them on and get them into the people in the community as fast as possible. And so we have. Ah, we have a remarkable um, role to play because of our expertise in this field. It certainly is exhausting Entire ng. I'm a really a basic science scientist at heart. I never thought I would do anything that would affect any human really directly from the lab. So to be able to play a part of this is really quite rewarding and really drives the research. I'm Ira Plato and this is science Friday from W. N. Y C studios. The speed that scientists have had to work has been astonishing, right? I mean in the clip, one of the researchers described approaching the work like a marathon rather than a sprint. Do you agree that this is this is a marathon and you create a balance between the two. There is absolutely no balance. Unfortunately, at the beginning of this week, certainly we were all calling it. It's a marathon and sprint pace and that hasn't slowed down our lab and everyone else's lab in this field is that are working on these. This virus are working at an amazing pace. To try to understand the virus. Better develop therapeutics, get clinical trials run and then out into the population so we can get approvals. It just hasn't slowed down. I don't know when it will. But in our lab, it certainly is not. How are you viewing the second year of the pandemic? I think I look at it two ways. I'm quite optimistic about all of the vaccine that has been really rapidly developed through. All of these companies were working with Novavax on their vaccine directly. Seeing that out in trials and the two vaccines that have anyway, approval already in a year. That is incredibly remarkable. I know we keep saying that, and I don't think the general public really realizes. What a scientific endeavor has been to really develop these fast on do safely. The other aspect of that was the cases are not slowing down. And so that the scary thing and kind of get sad thing to me really is that we're not protecting ourselves The way we know how to protect socialism thing wearing masks on go seeing the case Numbers increase is really disheartening. So watch this move, not just the United States but around the world. People not doing the things that we know can protect them and getting really just tired of it, which I totally understand, But the case numbers are certainly not slowing down, and it really It saddens me that we're getting better at this yet. You talk about being sad and by this do you take your work home with you? I mean, does it affect you when you leave the lap? Sure. I don't think I'm depressed at home. I certainly am working more now. In the last 12 months that I have ever before, you know, staying up late, Miss some kid bedtimes and dinners. But I have AH, 11 year old. An eight year old Andre wife was also also a physician scientist at Johns Hopkins. So You know, all of this impacts all of our lives, whether it's somebody working in the lab or it's a single mom at home. Trying to, you know, put her kid through virtual school while they work a job. It's everyone is finding their way through this, and I think that you know, we all have a role to play. Whether it's in the lab are, you know otherwise? What do you want us to know about your work and Cove? It researchers in general, what I want everyone to know is that again. Everyone plays a role in this that we can work as hard as we can in the lab to develop vaccines and anti bodies and drugs. But if everyone out there is not helping themselves by Justin saying, wearing masks, doing the real things that we know our interventions that are non for pharmaceutical interventions that really reduce the risk of being infected. That is where everyone can play a role in this. I also want everyone to know that the vaccines that are rolling out now. Have gone through trials very rapidly, and I know there's some concern in the community that no, that's not normal and maybe they aren't safe. That certainly is not the fact. Not in fact, in any of the things that we have seen both published and unpublished, where all of the rigors of normal scientific research and clinical trials are still there. In these experiments and in these in these in phase 12 and three trials. I want everyone to understand that that these vaccines are safe and that therapeutics are safe and combining those therapeutics with, uh, protecting herself by, you know Following all of the normal public health measures are really how we could get ourselves through this. Thank you very much, Matthew for taking time to be with us today. Thank you very much for having me and good luck in states like Yeah, we'll check in with you along the way. Is that okay? Absolutely. Thank you. Matthew Freeman is an associate professor in microbiology and Immunology, University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. We have to take a break. And when we come back a conversation with an astrophysicist, Dr obvious Loeb, who believes evidence for intelligent life has visited our solar system. Stay with us. We'll be right.