Medicine in the time of corona: Fundamental molecular research is “essential”

22 Apr, 2020
A pandemic—especially one caused by a mysterious or newly discovered infectious agent—engenders a stark reminder that supporting fundamental research has been a prudent investment of public funds. Fundamental molecular research plays an essential role in the clinic to decipher infectious processes, develop therapeutic strategies, and guide physicians, nurses, and other hospital employees in implementing the most effective application of new knowledge. As the world begins the process of healing from the medical, social, and economic effects of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), public health is at the forefront of decision making by lawmakers at both the federal and state levels. Daily news conferences and press releases illustrate the importance of scientists and physicians as major partners in pandemic task forces guiding politicians in health policy decision-making. Basic molecular research plays a crucial role in helping the world overcome the current pandemic and prepare for the next one.