Men's basketball interview vs. MSU
Ronnie Green talks about a busy month for Husker teams and an exciting advancement in research by scientists in the Nebraska Center for Virology to help vaccinate for Zika virus. Ronnie also talks about the university's history of virology work leading up to this latest finding.
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[00:00:01.900]Welcome back, it's half-time,
[00:00:02.940]Greg Sharpe at our Husker Sports Network studios.
[00:00:04.940]I'm delighted to be sitting down with
[00:00:06.070]University of Nebraska Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green.
[00:00:08.501]This is a busy time of year for athletics.
[00:00:11.130]You've got, obviously, basketball going on
[00:00:12.930]but wrestling, gymnastics, indoor track.
[00:00:14.793]Lot of things, even tennis is competing.
[00:00:18.020]How do you keep track of all this?
[00:00:19.620]Well, you know, of course like everybody
[00:00:21.160]I check Huskers.com to keep up,
[00:00:23.490]but you know, you're right, it's really, really
[00:00:26.020]busy time of the year with a lot of our teams
[00:00:28.070]competing in this season of the year
[00:00:29.783]and through the remainder of the year
[00:00:31.960]so our fanbase and Husker fans have a lot of choices
[00:00:35.900]and they support our team so well
[00:00:37.405]with all of these activities going on.
[00:00:39.790]You know, just this weekend
[00:00:41.800]we've got men's and women's basketball tonight,
[00:00:43.831]with the women on the road at Illinois.
[00:00:46.090]Hope for a good game there.
[00:00:47.210]Rifle hosting Navy and North Carolina State
[00:00:49.390]in the next few days.
[00:00:50.500]Women's tennis hosting Air Force on Saturday
[00:00:52.720]and Creighton on Sunday.
[00:00:54.210]Wrestling at Maryland and Penn State.
[00:00:56.022]Women's gymnastics at Rutgers.
[00:00:58.420]Track and field at Michigan for the Big Ten Invitational.
[00:01:01.020]Women's basketball hosting Minnesota on Sunday,
[00:01:03.260]so you know, we wish all of our student athletes
[00:01:06.109]across all these sports best of luck in competition.
[00:01:09.330]Very, very busy season for Nebraska athletics.
[00:01:11.210]Also a time of year when people are thinking
[00:01:12.401]a lot about viruses, how to avoid them,
[00:01:15.300]stay healthy over the winter break.
[00:01:16.629]The University of Nebraska Lincoln researchers
[00:01:19.110]announced some very positive news
[00:01:21.035]about their study of the Zika virus.
[00:01:23.690]What can you tell us about that?
[00:01:25.171]Well, a lot of people might remember
[00:01:27.460]a couple of years ago there was this outbreak
[00:01:30.900]of the Zika virus in Brazil,
[00:01:32.990]and it was declared an emergency
[00:01:34.800]by the World Health Organization at that time
[00:01:37.570]because half a million to a million and a half
[00:01:39.974]suspected cases of Zika were reported worldwide.
[00:01:43.870]And 4,300 cases of microcephaly,
[00:01:47.440]which is babies being born with abnormally small heads,
[00:01:50.790]was a concern at that time.
[00:01:53.300]So we have had a group of researchers here
[00:01:56.490]working on vaccines,
[00:01:57.780]a development of a vaccine would be really significant
[00:01:59.855]for this important disease.
[00:02:01.571]Our researchers, led by Eric Weaver,
[00:02:04.275]who's an assistant professor in our School of
[00:02:06.570]Biological Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences,
[00:02:09.870]and he's part of what is known as
[00:02:11.440]the Nebraska Center for Virology here at UNL,
[00:02:14.294]have announced they may have identified a vaccine
[00:02:17.840]that would defend against the Zika virus
[00:02:20.083]without producing antibodies.
[00:02:22.090]So it's a very powerful way for a vaccine to be produced,
[00:02:26.350]and a safe way for a vaccine to be produced.
[00:02:28.477]They've been studying this for the last couple of years.
[00:02:31.325]His team has doctoral students
[00:02:34.110]Brianna Bullard and Brigette Corder,
[00:02:36.567]and they now have released this in December.
[00:02:39.710]So, many studies have shown that the antibodies
[00:02:43.410]against the Zika virus can worsen Dengue virus,
[00:02:46.590]so if you have a vaccine that produces antibodies
[00:02:49.530]it can be unsafe for that to be the case
[00:02:52.540]and it's been an obstacle to the development
[00:02:54.690]of an effective vaccine.
[00:02:55.950]That's been kind of the hurdle to get over.
[00:02:57.561]So if you have immunity to one of these viruses,
[00:03:00.560]you get infected by a second one,
[00:03:02.293]the illness can get much worse.
[00:03:04.369]So this is a big deal,
[00:03:05.971]with the team now coming forward with a vaccine
[00:03:09.220]that looks like it can do that without
[00:03:10.940]producing antibodies and provide that protection
[00:03:13.910]against what is a significant health threat
[00:03:15.890]in a lot of parts of the world.
[00:03:17.380]What an unbelievable breakthrough that is.
[00:03:18.640]What's ahead now for this research?
[00:03:20.820]So this was published in December,
[00:03:23.270]it received a lot of attention all over the world
[00:03:25.239]and we were very proud of our research team
[00:03:27.929]for that discovery.
[00:03:29.960]More studies will be needed to bring this to efficacy
[00:03:32.490]and bring it to delivery.
[00:03:33.945]It's one of the very exciting findings that happens here
[00:03:37.630]at Nebraska on a routine basis
[00:03:40.010]and it's one of the latest, I would say,
[00:03:42.810]things that have occurred in virology-related research here.
[00:03:46.210]We have a long history in that area,
[00:03:48.351]going all the way back to 1925
[00:03:50.642]when Dr. Gladys Henry Dick was nominated
[00:03:53.750]for a Nobel Prize in 1925 for creating a vaccine
[00:03:57.659]for treatment of scarlet fever,
[00:03:59.580]at that time, a really significant
[00:04:01.050]and important disease in the world.
[00:04:03.020]So as we've been looking at our 150th anniversary
[00:04:05.539]this year that we're celebrating,
[00:04:07.433]Dr. Dick's name has come up a lot
[00:04:10.690]and we actually have a billboard out in the state
[00:04:12.630]talking about her work currently
[00:04:15.060]and celebrating that history.
[00:04:16.600]And more recently,
[00:04:18.000]we have established the Nebraska Center for Virology
[00:04:20.870]I mentioned a few minutes ago, with Dr. Weaver,
[00:04:22.803]when Dr. Charles Wood came to the University in 1996,
[00:04:27.001]22 years ago.
[00:04:28.117]We're in this celebrating generations right now,
[00:04:31.210]so he was coming in just then at the start
[00:04:33.230]of this most recent generation of the University
[00:04:35.671]to help develop the Nebraska Center for Virology
[00:04:39.060]that's producing these kinds of results.
[00:04:40.950]So, exciting, and they'll continue to do work
[00:04:44.010]to bring this vaccine hopefully to market
[00:04:46.030]to be able to be helpful to people all over the world.
[00:04:48.501]Very good, thank you so much for sharing.
[00:04:50.160]With that, enjoy the second half.
[00:04:51.309]Go Big Red! Beat the Spartans!
[00:04:54.813]Chancellor Ronnie Green with us here at half time.
[00:04:56.050]We've got more, coming up next.
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