Campus News

'Behind the Blue Special Edition': Rebecca Dutch on UK’s Efforts to Treat, Understand and Eradicate COVID-19

Photo of Dr. Rebecca Dutch
Dr. Rebecca Dutch, chair of UK's Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry. Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 7, 2020) — Rebecca Dutch has been at the University of Kentucky for nearly 20 years. She is considered a leader in the field of virology — the study of viruses — and now serves as chair of UK’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry.

But her newest field of exploration is unlike anything she has done in her storied career.

She is helping lead researchers and faculty from multiple disciplines across the University of Kentucky as part of the global effort to treat, understand and eradicate COVID-19. The COVID-19 Unified Research Experts (CURE) Alliance team, a new workgroup within UK’s College of Medicine, is bringing together UK experts from across the campus to focus on advising COVID-19 patient care and clinical trials based on emerging research and potential treatment options.

College of Medicine Dean Robert DiPaola recently announced the creation of CURE, which the college is funding with additional support from UK’s Vice President for Research Lisa Cassis.

“Over the next weeks, we will assess emerging studies to guide the College of Medicine’s clinical enterprise to provide the best COVID-19 patient care available,” said Dutch, who is CURE leader. “Our goal, in the long term, is to identify the best options for patient participation in ongoing clinical trials, as well as clinical trials we can develop right here at UK.”

Dutch says the team, which is now meeting multiple times a week via Zoom, is also identifying potential COVID-19 research collaborations among UK experts. Several CURE team members have expertise directly related to COVID-19.

In this special edition of "Behind the Blue," Dutch discusses her efforts and those of others across the campus to find treatments for COVID-19 as well as why the virus has spread the way it has and how we can all better protect ourselves and others.

Read more about CURE here: http://uknow.uky.edu/research/university-kentucky-researchers-unite-fight-covid-19.

"Behind the Blue" is available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Spotify. Become a subscriber to receive new episodes of “Behind the Blue” each week. UK’s latest medical breakthroughs, research, artists and writers will be featured, along with the most important news impacting the university.

For questions or comments about this or any other episode of "Behind the Blue," email BehindTheBlue@uky.edu or tweet your question with #BehindTheBlue. Transcripts for this or other episodes of "Behind the Blue" can be downloaded from the show’s blog page. You can watch a video version of this podcast here.

To discover what’s wildly possible at the University of Kentucky, click here.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.