ONLINE: Overview of Basic and Clinical COVID-19 Research at Washington University

April 13, 2020
1 p.m. - 2 p.m.

After much thought and discussion regarding the precautions that Washington University is putting into place due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we have decided to make this an online event. 

Global Health Work in Progress (GHWIP) aims to bring together members of the Washington University global health community to learn about each other’s work. People working on a grant, paper or a new idea are encouraged to present their work at this meeting to get feedback.

Join us for Overview of Basic and Clinical COVID-19 Research at Washington University, presented by Sean Whelan, PhD and Rachel M. Presti, MD, PhD.


About the speakers

Rachel M. Presti, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine

Dr. Presti is interested in understanding how emerging viruses contribute to the pathogenesis of HIV disease. The HIV epidemic has evolved significantly in the 27 years since the virus was first discovered. Current therapy with highly active antiretroviral agents (HAART) has allowed us to prolong the life and improve the immune competence of patients living with HIV. However, we still have few therapeutic options for treating other viral pathogens, and because of difficulty culturing viruses, it is likely that there are numerous as yet unknown human viruses which cause disease. Emerging viruses have become increasingly important in patients who are HIV infected.


Sean Whelan, PhD
Marvin A. Brennecke Distinguished Professor of Molecular Microbiology
Department Chair, Department of Molecular Microbiology

Dr. Whelan studies how viruses attach to cells and slip inside, a critical step toward causing disease. Among other accomplishments, he identified the protein that Ebola virus uses to latch onto cells, and the molecular process by which rabies virus invades cells. Whelan also studies how a group of viruses called negative-sense RNA viruses – which includes rabies, measles and influenza viruses – copy themselves inside of cells. Most approved antiviral drugs target the molecular machinery that viruses use to replicate, but such drugs do not exist for negative-sense RNA viruses. Understanding the molecular underpinnings of viral invasion and replication provides new targets for the development of antiviral therapeutics.

Event Sponsors: Global Health Center at the Institute for Public Health