Stony Brook Researchers Look for New Ways to Combat Coronavirus

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to plague the U.S., Stony Brook Medicine remains prepared to respond while its researchers are looking for new ways to combat — and treat — patients with coronavirus. 

“So many of our talented physician-researchers, nurses and medical staff are focused on identifying the mechanisms by which the SARS-CoV-2 virus causes its devastating effects on its victims,” said Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, MACP, Senior Vice President, Health Sciences and Dean, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. “Armed with this knowledge, I am certain that innovating both existing and new treatments will be fashioned to alter the course of this devastating virus. Having a network of physician-scientists in place allows us to contribute on both a local and global scale to accelerate the fight against COVID-19 and save lives.”

Stony Brook researchers are fast-tracking a number of research studies, including these clinical trials:  

  • Examining the safety and efficacy of sarilumab for hospitalized patients with COVID-19
  • Examining the safety and efficacy of remdesivir in adults over age 18 who are diagnosed with COVID-19 and who are intubated
  • Examining the safety and efficacy of remdesivir in children under age 18 who are diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Examining the use of convalescent plasma versus standard plasma: This trial involves patients who are 18 years or older with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 within 14 days of hospital admission. If you have recovered from COVID-19 and want to help others with the disease by donating your blood plasma, please visit: The donated blood plasma will be used to help patients who are currently in the hospital battling the disease.
  • The use of the estrogen patch for treatment of COVID-19
  • A population-controlled study to compare the safety and efficacy of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) sulfate and vitamin C in healthcare workers at risk for COVID-19
  • An evaluation of the therapeutic efficacy of Losartan for hypertension (high blood pressure) in patients with COVID-19

In addition to clinical trials, there are several observational trials in the works at Stony Brook University Hospital. These include:

  • TemPredictSB: A COVID-19 responsive emergency research study to build personal COVID-19 early-detection and symptom monitoring systems using data from wearable devices ( TemPredictSB will allow Stony Brook researchers to evaluate our own community of healthcare workers to better understand risks of COVID-19 to frontline staff.
  • COVID-19 Patients at Stony Brook Medicine: Examing the clinical diagnosis of COVID-19 pneumonia (either in patients with a positive COVID-19 test or "person under investigation" status). 
  • COVID-19 AI: Using artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms on CT and x-ray images to classify patients with confirmed COVID-19 positive subjects from normal or other lung infections.
  • A North American Registry of the Digestive Manifestations of COVID-19: Creating a registry of patients with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 being treated at Stony Brook University Hospital.

These trials are being led by several of the top medical professionals at Stony Brook Medicine, including Sharon Nachman, MD, Chief, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital and Associate Dean for Research, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University; Bettina Fries, MD, Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University; Adam Singer, MD, Professor and Vice Chair for Research, Department of Emergency Medicine; and Elliott Bennett-Guerrero, MD, Medical Director, Perioperative Quality and Patient Safety and Professor and Vice Chair, Clinical Research and Innovation, Department of Anesthesiology. The trials have been developed to observe the impact of different types of treatment on patients with coronavirus, as well as help further advance possible remedies.  

“As an academic medical center, it is not only our responsibility to provide the best available care for all our patients, but in the midst of the unknowns that characterize COVID-19, we must also investigate and craft the new, evidence-based standards for caring for patients with this devasting disease,” said Dr. Kaushansky. “It's time for a bold vision and the strong will to follow the science wherever it leads, so that solutions will be found to the critical questions we pose. At Stony Brook University, we are proud to have some of the brightest minds at work — focusing our extensive network of medical and research resources from across the organization for the ultimate benefit of our communities and beyond.” 

Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Stony Brook's coronavirus-related research.