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Texas Biomed teams up with scientists nationwide to fight coronavirus

"You have a facility right next to SeaWorld that is doing this groundbreaking research to help essential get us back to normal," Dr. Ricardo Carrion Jr. said.

SAN ANTONIO — The tests inside the Texas Biomedical Research Institute benefit people well beyond the Alamo City. 

For several months, Dr. Ricardo Carrion Jr. has shared his research with fellow scientists across the county. 

"You have a facility right next to SeaWorld that is doing this groundbreaking research to help essential get us back to normal," Carrion said.

He and a handful of his colleagues serve on seven national committees and working groups related to the coronavirus.

"The main goal of the committees, all of them, is to try and identify a vaccine or therapy for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19," Carrion said.

Carrion said they're able to compare results between sites and design better experiments.

"The main objective is to exchange information about animal models primarily," Carrion said. "What works and what doesn't work."

Carrion said they connect virtually once a week to fight the virus together. 

"There are several hours a week that are done sitting on Zoom," Carrion said. "And the rest of the time is trying to understand what's going on in the field to contribute to these committees."

The committees are an added commitment, but Carrion said there's value in the work they're doing.

"When you're in the business of eradicating disease, that's what we do," Carrion said.

When President Donald Trump was diagnosed with the coronavirus, Carrion said he was given an experimental antibody cocktail tested by Texas Biomed.

"That just kind of reinforces why we're here and the important role we play," Carrion said. "It gives us all an extra boost because we know we're making a difference."

Carrion said they'll serve on these committees until a vaccine or therapy is approved. 

"San Antonio has a footprint in this whole COVID-19 response," Carrion said.