Repurposed mouse model sheds light on loss of smell in COVID-19

A repurposed mouse model can develop symptoms of both severe COVID-19 (lung damage, blood clots, abnormal blood vessels, and death) and also of milder disease, including loss of the sense of smell, according to a new University of Iowa study published in Nature. When COVID-19 started spreading across the world earlier this year, UI researchers Stanley Perlman, MD, PhD, and Paul McCray, MD, realized that a mouse model they had created a decade earlier to study SARS might be an invaluable tool for understanding the concerning new disease and for testing potential treatments. In the new study, Perlman, McCray, and colleagues present a detailed characterization of the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection in these K18-hACE2 mice.

McCray Lab & UI cystic fibrosis research team receiv $11.5 million NIH grant to develop new therapies

A team of cystic fibrosis experts with University of Iowa Health Care has been awarded a five-year, $11.5 million grant by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to research molecular therapies for cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease. “The overall goal of this program project grant is to better understand the cellular basis of CF airway disease and use this knowledge to direct new therapies towards its prevention or treatment,” says Paul McCray, MD, principal investigator of the grant and a professor in the UI Stead Family Department of Pediatrics, and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the UI Carver College of Medicine.

Gene therapy could offer an inclusive cure for cystic fibrosis (Nature, July 29, 2020)

Scientists have been trying for 30 years to wield gene therapy against cystic fibrosis. In past efforts, the viruses that they engineered to deliver the working copy of the gene into cells didn’t work effectively. Now, thanks to better vectors and other innovations in delivering genetic sequences, gene-replacement therapies are nearing clinical trials, and the field is gaining momentum.
This article highlights the contributions that investigators at the University of Iowa have made and continue to make to advance gene therapy for CF. 

Congratulations, Laura!
Laura Marquez Loza F31 Fellowship

Off-the-shelf tool for making mouse models of COVID-19 

S Perlman & P McCray
A major hurdle to developing and testing new anti-viral therapies and vaccines for COVID-19 is the lack of good, widely available animal models of the disease. Researchers at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and Medical University, Guangzhou, in China, have developed a simple tool to overcome that bottleneck. The researchers have created a gene therapy approach that can convert any lab mouse into one that can be infected with SARS-CoV-2 and develops COVID-like lung disease. The international team, led by Paul McCray, MD, and Stanley Perlman, PhD, at the UI, and Jincun Zhao, PhD, at Medical University, Guangzhou, have made their gene therapy vector freely available to any researchers who want to use it.

 

 

 

 

 

Matt Strub Thesis Defense

 

UI Hospitals & Clinics News: Successful MERS vaccine in mice may hold promise for COVID-19 vaccine

 

Carver College of Medicine News: UI team is developing new delivery tools for gene editing
protein delivery to mouse airways using S10 peptide

 

Carver College of Medicine News: McCray leads grant to improve and advance genome editing

 

Paul McCray, MD
Dr. McCray was elected to membership in the American Academy of Microbiology


Long-term correction of hemophilia A mice following lentiviral mediated delivery of an optimized canine factor VIII gene
Gene Therapy, September 14, 2017.


Mouse-adapted MERS coronavirus causes lethal lung disease in human DPP4 knockin mice.
Proceedings of the national Academy of Sciences. March 27, 2017


Gene therapy for cystic fibrosis lung disease
Jennifer Brown | Sept. 26, 2016
The McCray, Sinn and Zabner labs reported results from two new studies suggesting that gene therapy may be a viable approach for treating or preventing lung disease caused by cystic fibrosis (CF).


Dr. McCray Wins Regents Award for Faculty Excellence
April 27, 2016
One of Iowa’s highest honors for faculty achievement, the award honors faculty members for work representing a significant contribution to excellence in public education.


UI cystic fibrosis researchers receive $11 million
grant renewal for gene therapy work


Medical Student Research Day, Sept. 4, 2015
Outstanding Presentation in Pediatric Basic Science Research 
Rachel Schenkel, M1 
“The LPO/DUOX/Halide Airway Host Defense System Has Antiviral Properties Against Influenza A” 
 


M.S. Thesis Defense
Abigail Berkebile, Microbiology 
"Airway Surface Liquid Antiviral Activity in Cystic Fibrosis."


Bartlett JA, Meyerholz DK, Wohlford-Lenane CL, Naumann PW, Salzman NH, McCray PB Jr.
“Increased susceptibility to otitis media in a Splunc1-deficient mouse model." Dis Model Mech. 2015 May;8(5):501-8. doi: 10.1242/dmm.019646. Epub 2015 Mar 12. PMID: 25765466