MDI Biological Laboratory
General News

This is Why: The Fundamental Importance of Science

  • July 20, 2020

In the past weeks and months, we’ve seen science come to the forefront of the global consciousness. Now, more than ever before, the importance of scientific research, education and literacy cannot be understated. Right now, your commitment to MDI Biological Laboratory’s mission has never been more warranted.

Like you, we were challenged by the uncertainty and loss created by this devastating disease. However, during times of uncertainty, we turn to one of the most certain things there is – science. Throughout history science has overcome even the most daunting challenges – including beating pandemics.

It has before, and it will again.

With your help, science – and all of us – will win. 

Will you join us as partner in solving some of our most pressing scientific problems?

Given the fact that older adults are at higher risk for complications from COVID-19, MDIBL scientists are uniquely positioned to make significant contributions to the fight against this pandemic. As we age, our cells’ ability to repair begins to diminish. Accumulated cell damage leads not only to age-related and degenerative conditions, it also means older people are more severely affected by diseases like COVID-19 and the associated complications.

Our rich history yields many impressive examples of researchers who have contributed to the ongoing continuum of science by generating breakthroughs in our understanding human biology that led to novel treatments for a particular disease, sometimes decades later, and occasionally unrelated to the original problem that was studied.

Recently, the relevance of MDI president, Dr. Hermann Haller’s own research on glycocalyx, the dense layer of sugars, proteins and lipids that cover every cell in our body, took on unexpected relevance in the fight against COVID-19.

As a nephrologist he is interested in understanding how our vascular system is formed. We know that the sugar and protein compounds that reside on the outside of our cells play a key role in the formation of our vascular system. Coincidentally, one of the compounds we study, known as heparin sulfate, is the primary binding site for the coronavirus when it enters the oral or nasal passages. His lab has discovered several small molecules (potential drugs) that inhibit the binding capacity of heparin sulfate. Suddenly, my research group is launching a new project to study whether we might develop a nasal or oral spray that would prevent the coronavirus from binding to heparin sulfate and entering the body.

Today, your commitment to science and your support of our mission is more important and more appreciated than ever before. You can play an important role in solving some of our most pressing scientific problems!

MDI Biological Laboratory continues to work hard to understand why, as we age, do our cells lose their natural ability to repair? Can we unlock these biological secrets, so that cell damage could be slowed, stalled, prevented or even reversed?

Your support will help us make that vision a reality by providing our scientists with the freedom to investigate, discover and develop ideas that have been of lasting benefit to better human health.

The global events of the past few months have only cemented our passion, determination and drive to reach our goals.

 Your gift makes a vital difference in leveraging scientific discovery to ensure a healthier future, for you, your loved ones, and countless others. Please, make a gift today.