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One of Kentucky State’s own is at the forefront of coronavirus research.
Amid the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kentucky State’s faculty, staff, students and community have proven themselves to be strong and adaptable. As our University has continued to consult trusted sources and experts on how best to respond to the outbreak, we have had the distinct honor of having one of those experts within our own Thorobred family: Dr. Alexander Lai.
Dr. Lai, associate professor of biology at Kentucky State, recently co-authored a peer-reviewed paper on COVID-19. The paper, “COVID-19: Epidemiology, Evolution, and Cross- Disciplinary Perspectives,” was written in collaboration with professors and researchers in China and Germany.
Published in Trends in Molecular Medicine, the paper contained three
major  ndings related to the virus’ source and spread, as well as potential treatment methods.
First, according to Dr. Lai, “this novel coronavirus was from bats, but it was likely a recombinant virus involving a pangolin virus. Therefore, it was a rare event, and most likely from a ‘point source,’ the wet market in Wuhan where different wildlife species were kept in close proximity.”
Second, Lai noted there was a higher mortality rate at the initial phase of the pandemic.
Finally, Dr. Lai said that “a short peptide, by interfering virus binding to the host receptor, could be used as a potential antiviral drug.”
Dr. Lai said observing a lockdown
for a period could be crucial in defeating the virus.
“This virus could be defeated because asymptomatic virus carriers would be cleared,” Lai said. “If there were no further importation of virus to our community, we could resume normal activities. However, we need to remain vigilant: good personal hygiene by washing our hands often and keep social distancing.”
During this global challenge, Dr. Lai has exhibited the true spirit of excellence in all things. As a University, we must each continue do our part. We must remain vigilant, respect the guidelines set forth by experts like Dr. Lai and make the utmost effort to  atten the curve.
For more information on Kentucky State’s COVID-19 response, visit

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