Coming Back Safe and Strong: Pursuing a Cure
Play • 58 min

With the world turning its attention more to treatment solutions and even potential COVID-19 cures, Stony Brook University has been leading antibody screening, enrolling patients in a convalescent plasma trial and conducting more than 180 dedicated research projects across all disciplines … all with the aim of winning the long-term Coronavirus battle. Stony Brook University Interim President Michael Bernstein hosts this episode of Beyond the Expected podcast and is joined by three Stony Brook guests to talk about how our researchers have stepped up and responded, about the research they're doing, and about the latest thinking on what antibodies can and can’t tell us about this disease.


Dr. Elliot Bennett-Guerrero is Medical Director for Perioperative Quality and Patient Safety for Stony Brook Medicine. He’s also Professor and Vice Chairman for Clinical Research in the Department of Anesthesiology in Stony Brook University’s Renaissance School of Medicine. Dr. Bennett-Guerrero has been involved in research projects running the gamut from the safety and effectiveness of blood transfusion, to surgical site infection, postoperative morbidity and cancer recurrence. Most recently, he launched a clinical trial of donated, post-convalescent plasma from up to 500 COVID-19 patients and is also conducting antibody testing with 500 healthcare workers.

Dr. Bettina Fries is Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Stony Brook Medicine, and is nationally recognized as a physician-scientist in the field of microbiology. She is a Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology at the Renaissance School of Medicine. She is also an attending at the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center and a Fellow of the Infectious Disease Society as well as the American Academy of Microbiology. A primary focus of her research has been on the development of antibodies against multidrug-resistant bacteria and on Cryptococcus neoformans. During this pandemic, Dr. Fries has consulted on COVID-19 infected patients and chairs the clinical trial task force that reports to our Hospital Incident Command System. 

Dr. Richard Reeder is Vice President for Research and serves as Associate Vice President for Brookhaven National Laboratory Affairs, acting as Stony Brook’s liaison to the nearby Department of Energy laboratory co-managed by Stony Brook University and Battelle Memorial Institute. He is also a member of the Brookhaven Science Associates Board of Directors and retains the position of Professor of Geochemistry in the Department of Geosciences, where he served as Chair for 2008-2013. Dr. Reeder’s research interests have spanned several primarily environmental-based areas. 

Production Credits

Guest Host: Michael Bernstein

Executive Producer: Nicholas Scibetta

Producer: Lauren Sheprow

Art Director: Karen Leibowitz

Assistant producer: Ellen Cooke

Facebook Live and Social Media: Meryl Altuch, Emily Cappiello, Casey Borchick, Veronica Brown

Production assistant: Joan Behan-Duncan

YouTube Technician: Dennis Murray

Vodcast Director: Jan Diskin-Zimmerman

Engineer/Technical Director: Phil Altiere

Production Manager/Editor: Tony Fabrizio

Camera/Lighting Director: Jim Oderwald

Camera: Brian DiLeo

Original score: “Mutti Bug” provided by Professor Tom Manuel

Special thanks to the School of Journalism for use of its podcast studio

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