Washington, November 21
An Indian-American scientist has discovered a potential strategy to prevent life-threatening inflammation, lung damage and organ failure in patients diagnosed with Covid-19.
Published online in the journal Cell, the research coming from the lab of Dr Thirumala-Devi Kanneganti, an Indian-born researcher working at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee, identified the drugs after discovering that the hyper-inflammatory immune response associated with Covid-19 leads to tissue damage and multi-organ failure in mice by triggering inflammatory cell death pathways.
The researchers detailed how the inflammatory cell death signalling pathway worked, which led to potential therapies to disrupt the process.
“Understanding the pathways and mechanism driving this inflammation is critical to develop effective treatment strategies,” said Kanneganti, vice chair of the St Jude Department of Immunology.
Kanneganti was born and raised in Telangana. She received her undergraduate degree at Kakatiya University in Warangal, where she majored in chemistry, zoology, and botany. She then received her MSc and PhD from Osmania University in India. She joined St Jude, in Memphis, Tennessee, USA, in 2007.
“This research provides that understanding. We also identified the specific cytokines that activate inflammatory cell death pathways and have considerable potential for treatment of Covid and other highly fatal diseases, including sepsis,” she said.
The other researchers were Shraddha Tuladhar, Parimal Samir, Min Zheng, Balamurugan Sundaram, Balaji Banoth, RK Subbarao Malireddi, Patrick Schreiner, Geoffrey Neale, Peter Vogel and Richard Webby, of St Jude; and Evan Peter Williams, Lillian Zalduondo and Colleen Beth Jonsson, of the University of Tennessee Health Science Centre.…