TCU and UNTHSC develop COVID-19 research group

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The race to find treatments for COVID-19 is finding its way to Fort Worth as local medical students work toward a cure.

Students and faculty at the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine have come together to find a solution to this evolving pandemic.

Dr. Mohanakrishnan Sathyamoorthy, the department chair of internal medicine at the medical school, said the research group was “inspired by the effect COVID-19 had on the city of Fort Worth.”

Beginning in early March, Sathyamoorthy created a hypothesis focusing on a different approach to treating cytokine storms that lead to the deadly inflammation in many COVID-19 patients.

“We feel that we have an opportunity to impact the future of clinical discoveries that occur in the city of Fort Worth,” said Sathyamoorthy.

Sathyamoorthy had conversations with Dr. Stuart D. Flynn, the founding dean of the medical school, about faculty members and other physicians who might be interested in the research group.

By August, Flynn said the group had “developed three new proposals around COVID-19 that they planned to study targeting how COVID-19 invades the human body and how the body normally responds.”

Flynn added that the group now has “several partnerships within the city of Fort Worth and a partnership with India.”

The group also expanded its possible treatment targets beyond COVID-19 and is looking at how what they develop could help patients with inflammatory diseases.

“We are really hopeful with the hypotheses we have come up with that we are able to look at response patterns with patients that have a history of autoimmune diseases,” said Sathyamoorthy.

The group has also moved forward with its research and applied its first proposal of findings to the Food and Drug Administration to be able to repurpose currently available drugs to fight COVID-19. 

To learn more about the Fort Worth Clinical Sciences Working Group, watch Flynn and Sathyamoorthy’s FWMD Live discussion on what areas of COVID-19 their research will focus on, clinical trials and more.