Advancing the Science

Mayo Clinic Medical Science Blog – an eclectic collection of research- and research education-related stories: feature stories, mini news bites, learning opportunities, profiles and more from Mayo Clinic.

May 11, 2020

Mayo Clinic Research in the News — Week in Review 5/11/2020

By Elizabeth Zimmermann

Many news stories last week covered aspects of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19. Each day several articles cited Mayo Clinic Research and quoted Mayo Clinic experts. Read on for snippets from some of these articles, and links to the full stories.

A COVID-19 Vaccine by Fall Is Possible, But at What Cost?

By Dennis Thompson, HealthDay reporter via U.S. News & World Report, 5/11/2020

... "It is possible to have a vaccine by the fall or winter," said Dr. Greg Poland, director of the Vaccine Research Group at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "It is not possible to have a vaccine by fall or winter that has gone through the usual safety testing. Speed is a tradeoff with safety."

... Poland said that there are a couple of ways the United States could speed up its own vaccine testing process, but these strategies raise important ethical questions.

Guidance for Inpatient Care During COVID-19

By Madeline Morr,, 5/8/2020 (free with registration)

As an increasing proportion of the population becomes infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and more patients with severe illnesses are hospitalized, it is important for hospitals to remain abreast on how to best care for people with suspected or confirmed disease. To help, researchers from the Mayo Clinic developed a guide for the inpatient care of patients with COVID-19. The full guide is published in the American Journal of Medicine.

Can antibody testing deliver on promises to lift the lockdown?

By David Cox, The Guardian, 5/10/2020

At the Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, Marion Koopmans and a team of scientists are going throught the laborious process of verifying antibody tests for Covid-19. Over the last two months, dozens of prospective tests have hit the market, and with many governments wanting to feed the results of large-scale testing into their decisions whether to end lockdowns, biological tests have rarely carried such weight. ...

Questions remain as to whether such antibodies stick around for life or wane over a period of months or years.

“Answering that question will be critical when it comes to the success of the vaccines,” says Elitza Theel, clinical microbiology director at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “Is there going to be one vaccine or is it going to be like the flu where you need to get boosted and revaccinated every year?”

New Federal Rules Pave The Way For Patient-Driven Health Information Exchange And Real-World Evidence On COVID-19 Surveillance And Treatment

By Sanket Dhruva, Joseph S. Ross, Nilay Shah, Rachael Fleurence, Harlan M. Krumholz, HealthAffairs blog, 5/10/2020

Nilay Shah, Ph.D., one of this blog's coauthors, holds a number of leadership roles in health sciences research, and is the chair of Health Care Policy & Research at Mayo Clinic.

Mayo Clinic: Second COVID-19 wave during fall, winter ‘an inevitability’

By BJ Bethel,, 5/6/2020

Dr. Gregory Poland, a Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases with the Mayo Clinic told on Tuesday that a second wave would likely occur alongside the normal seasonal influenza outbreak, which could post major challenges to health care systems and the general population.

“I think among those of us who study (infectious diseases), we believe a second wave will be an inevitability,” Poland told

Dr. Andrew Badley - Mayo Clinic Division of Infectious Diseases on being tasked with the COVID-19 oversight and the research behind it

— WCCO radio, 5/5/2020

Chad Hartman talked about being tasked with the COVID-19 oversight, the research behind it, balancing timelines, the depth of departments at Mayo Clinic and more w/ Dr. Andrew Badley from the Mayo Clinic Division of Infectious Diseases.

Many coronavirus mutations are circling the globe, but we don't know if any are more dangerous

By Elizabeth Weise, USA Today (via Detroit Free Press), 5/5/2020

... "Everybody talks about the SARS-CoV-2 virus as if it's one thing. It may be more of a problem," said Dr. Greg Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group.

All viruses mutate, especially RNA viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, Poland said. What's important is whether there's going to be a clinical significance, he said.

Dying People Can Access Experimental Drugs for Covid-19, but It’s Complicated

Compassionate use allows very sick people to get access to treatments that might help Covid-19, but it’s not without problems

By Ron Winslow, elemental - Medium, 5/5/2020

... Mayo Clinic just announced on May 5 a $26 million federal grant to support “expanded access,” as compassionate use is also known, for a promising but unproven treatment called convalescent plasma to fight Covid-19. But as the history of compassionate use suggests, broadening use of the strategy is almost certain to raise risks and trigger ethical dilemmas that have long plagued the approach.


NBA Reportedly Supporting Mayo Clinic's COVID-19 Study on Antibody Blood Tests

By Joseph Zucker, Bleacher Report, 5/4/2020

The NBA is supporting a study from the Mayo Clinic that uses serology testing to identify antibodies for the coronavirus, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

Charania noted the purpose of the effort is "to better understand prevalence of coronavirus among players and staff and promote long-term efforts to develop vaccine."

Read the article for more information on Mayo Clinic's research surrounding COVID-19, and intersections with the NBA.


For Mayo Clinic stories, videos, podcasts and other current resources related to COVID-19, visit our mini site.

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Tags: Andrew Badley, antibodies, artificial intelligence, biomedical ethics, COVID-19, Elitza Theel, epidemiology, Gregory Poland, immunity, influenza, News, News of the Week, Nilay Shah, plasma, vaccines

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