UI Middle East Respiratory Syndrome expert available to comment

UI Middle East Respiratory Syndrome expert available to comment

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The University of Iowa has an expert available to comment on the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

On May 2, 2014, the first confirmed case of MERS was reported in a traveler to the United States.

Stanley Perlman, professor of microbiology and pediatrics in the UI Carver College of Medicine, is an expert virologist with over 30 years experience researching coronaviruses, including SARS.

He and his team recently created the first mouse model of MERS, which they are using to test potential therapies and vaccines. They also are sharing this resource with other research groups to advance understanding of the MERS virus.

Stanley Perlman, MD, PhD,
Stanley Perlman

Perlman recently returned from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he was a guest speaker at the 2nd Scientific Advisory Board Meeting for Global Centre for Mass Gathering Medicine. The meeting centered on the ongoing MERS outbreak and establishing appropriate preparations for the upcoming Hajj, an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca and the largest gathering of Muslim people in the world every year.

"I'm not surprised that we've seen the first American case," Perlman says. "But, so far, the virus does not seem to easily spread from human to human. Our experience from the 2003-04 SARS epidemic and subsequent increased research efforts in coronavirus biology and pathogenesis have facilitated a rapid response to this new infection."

Perlman can be contacted at stanley-perlman@uiowa.edu.

Contacts

Stanley Perlman, Microbiology
Jennifer Brown, UI Health Care Marketing and Communications, 319-356-7124

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