Penn Center for Innovation

After saving his own life with a repurposed drug, a professor reviews every drug being tried against Covid-19. Here’s what he’s found

Posted on June 29, 2020 — Jessica Jones Gupta

The 35-year-old associate professor at the Penn Perelman School of Medicine leads the school’s Center for Cytokine Storm Treatment & Laboratory. For the last few years, he has dedicated his life to studying Castleman disease, a rare condition that nearly claimed his life.
Against epic odds, he found a drug that saved his own life six years ago, by creating a collaborative method for organizing medical research that could be applicable to thousands of human diseases.
But after seeing how the same types of flares of immune-signaling cells, called cytokine storms, kill both Castleman and Covid-19 patients alike, his lab has devoted nearly all of its resources to aiding doctors fighting the pandemic.
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