2020 Year's End Message from Dr. Eva Feldman

Michigan Medicine NeuroNetwork for Emerging Therapies Director Dr. Eva Feldman working in the lab with a face mask image

Dear Friends:

2020 has been a year like no other for me and my scientists. COVID-19 changed our scientific, clinical, and personal lives. At the NeuroNetwork, we began one of the nation’s most active centers of the study and treatment of COVID-19, as well as continuing our life-saving work in ALS, the complications of diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Here is our story of this most challenging year, and I hope you will write or email me yours. Your support is what could give this story a happy ending, and we hope you will consider a gift this year to keep our research in the NeuroNetwork moving forward.

January 1: We launched the NeuroNetwork for Emerging Therapies and formalized collaborations with 40 scientists in Michigan, across the U.S.A., and in Australia, Denmark, England, India, and Israel.

March 9: I returned to Ann Arbor from Washington D.C. after having a briefing on COVID-19, and frankly was in shock as I grasped the enormity of what I had learned. Our team developed a strategy to shift our efforts to data analyses and research publications, in anticipation that the virus would suspend our research and lab operations.

March 20: Michigan Medicine closed all science labs, made all elective patient visits virtual, and canceled all travel. Collaborator meetings moved to Zoom. We began to treat COVID-19 patients.

April: We held our first virtual lab meeting and mapped out a plan to complete all data analyses from 2019 and 2020, publish our scientific results, and begin new patient clinical trials.

May: We submitted grants to the U-M Caswell Diabetes Institute and NIH to begin clinical studies to understand the high morbidity of COVID-19 in patients with diabetes; these grants were successful!

June: We reopened our laboratory at 30 percent capacity and began in-person patient clinical visits.

September: Our laboratory returned to full capacity. Our existing scientific research and clinical trials restarted, and we launched additional new clinical trials for the treatment of ALS.

Next: The first clinic for the treatment of the chronic complications of COVID-19 in patients with diabetes will open in early 2021.

Thank you for being our partner in our unwavering commitment to these new frontiers in medicine and neurology.

May your holiday season be healthy, safe, and happy. Please reach out to me with any questions, or for a Zoom chat or virtual tour of our laboratory. We are only a computer click away in this new world! For a video update from me, including a special preview of 2021, please visit our website at mneuronet.org.

Warmest wishes as I count my blessings and wish you more,

photo of NeuroNetwork for Emerging Therapies Feldman Lab members

Eva L. Feldman, M.D., Ph.D.
Russell N. DeJong Professor of Neurology
Director, NeuroNetwork for Emerging Therapies