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Southern Miss Alum’s Doctoral Research Key in Combating Ebola Virus

Daniel Murin is using the research skills he honed in the biochemistry laboratories at The University of Southern Mississippi in the fight against one of the world’s most feared diseases.

Murin, a doctoral student at the renowned Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, is on a team of scientists that contributed to the development of a treatment for the Ebola virus known as ZMapp. The antibody cocktail, which showed promise in animal models, was recently used to treat two patients who contracted the disease in Africa.

While the condition of the patients treated with ZMapp continues to improve, Murin says he’s ready to examine the results and continue working with the Scripps research team on producing even more effective treatment going forward.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ebola virus disease is a severe, often fatal illness with a case fatality rate of up to 90 percent. Infection is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals or people. Symptoms include sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. These are followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, internal and external bleeding.

There is no licensed vaccine or treatment for the disease, with treatment focused on its symptoms . The recent outbreak in West Africa, where the two Americans contracted the disease, has infected more than 2,000 people with more than 1,000 of those cases turning fatal. 

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From the Archives
Flashback 1966-67
Three students show off their vehicle before racing it in the annual bed race.The academic year was 1967-67: The first Super Bowl was held, and on campus the School of Nursing was organized through a special legislative appropriation.

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Kevin Gilbert
Kevin Gilbert '94, '96 serves as president for the Mississippi Association of Educators.

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