CSU Alum Spearheads State Convalescent Plasma Research
A Colorado State University alum is playing a large role in how the state of Colorado is utilizing convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19.
According to Source, Dr. John Eisenach, an anesthesiologist at Kaiser Permanente, launched the Colorado COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project Consortium in March of 2020, with a goal to streamline research surrounding convalescent plasma and the virus.
Dr. Michael Joyner, Eisenach's mentor and a leading advocate for the treatment of COVID-19 with convalescent plasma, served as the inspiration behind the project.
"He asked me what my role would be during the shutdown, since we would be temporarily postponing elective surgeries," Eisenach told the publication. "I told him that I would be assigned to work in the Intensive Care Unit. He said: 'Well, drop everything you're doing, clear your calendar, and work on convalescent plasma in Colorado.'"
This lead Eisenach back to his alma mater CSU, which he credits with playing "a significant role" in figuring out how to test a novel virus, and determine if a COVID-19 patient needs convalescent plasma.
"What is so special about the consortium is that scientific norms were suspended," he said to Source. "In a crisis, old rules simply can't apply. We had to figure out how we could address this pandemic as quickly as possible together."
Now, new research from Joyner and his team shows that the consortium's efforts have paid off: COVID-19 patients who receive convalescent plasma with higher antibody levels have a lower risk of death.
However, these findings were only among patients who were not on a ventilator. While Eisenach said he's "proud" of the consortium's work so far, there is still more research to be done.
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