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What is the single most important question about COVID-19 you think needs to be answered? Submit it for a special Idaho Matters Doctors Roundtable in English and Spanish.

A Cellular Immunologist At The Boise VA Describes Her Research During The Pandemic

Caldwell VA Clinic

Immunology and epidemiology were not top-of-mind topics in years past, but this year, it’s all we seem to talk about. Idaho Matters went behind-the-scenes to check-in with a researcher at the Boise VA Medical Center. Dr. Mary Cloud Ammons of the Idaho Veterans Research and Education Foundation joined the show to talk about her work.

Dr. Ammons described how she worked at a scientist's "bench," analyzing PCR tests for SARS-CoV-2, in addition to her regular research. She used a skiing analogy to describe how viral load might look to a scientist, with a flat line indicating no virus and a sharp slope indicating a higher load. She observed a researcher knows that lives are changed by what the slides may reveal about a person's test. "That's a personal experience to the researcher," she said, "to recognize there is humanity in that data." 

She spoke to the opportunities for the growth of the biomedical industry in Idaho, which has long relied on its regional collaborations with the universities and hospitals of surrounding states. As a longtime resident of the intermountain West, she hoped that in-state coordination would grow among the government, academia and healthcare industries of Idaho.

As COVID-19 cases spread through the U.S. and Idaho, we’re committed to keeping you updated and informed. You can get updated info on cases, closures and how to stay healthy at any time on our Coronavirus news blog.

Have a question or comment for the show? Tweet @KBSX915 using #IdahoMatters

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Tom Michael is General Manager of Boise State Public Radio and responsible for its management and leadership. His most recent focus is on digital transformation, long-term financial stability and a more inclusive workplace. When he wants a break from the news, he enjoys running in the Boise foothills.