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Kormuth co-writes piece published in Nature Microbiology

BETHANY, W.Va. – Dr. Karen Kormuth, an assistant professor of biology at Bethany College, co-authored an opinion piece that appears in the January 2020 edition of the academic journal Nature Microbiology.

The piece, titled “News & Views: Emerging antiviral resistance,” was co-written with Dr. Seema Lakdawala, an assistant professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at the University of Pittsburgh. It examines a study of baloxavir marboxil, an antiviral medication used to treat influenza A and B. Sold under the brand name Xofluza, baloxavir marboxil, was approved for use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration in 2018.

Baloxavir marboxil works differently than traditional antivirals in that it targets a different protein in the virus.

The article by Kormuth and Lakdawala discusses research by a team led by Masaki Imai that examines influenza A viruses circulating in Japan with reduced susceptibility to baloxavir marboxil.

Kormuth, who joined the Bethany College faculty in the fall, conducted her post-doctoral research on infectious disease under the guidance of Lakdawala.

Lakdawala will speak at Bethany College during convocation hour at 11 a.m. March 17.

“The research is important to guiding physicians in prescribing antiviral drugs,” Kormuth said. “This should be used cautiously and not just given to everyone.”

Dr. Anna Edlund, associate professor and chair of the Bethany College Biology Department, said she is proud that someone in the department would publish in a journal of this caliber.

“It’s a sign of how trusted or valued her expertise is that she would write an opinion of the field,” Edlund said.

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Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.

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