One of the great pleasures of working in a school is keeping in touch with alumni and watching them grow into adulthood. It’s especially heartwarming for me when I get to speak with an alumnus who is engaged in a service that has a positive impact on the community. I had just that opportunity last week when I spoke with Jack Goodman ‘14 from his office at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health lab where he’s in a graduate program working on a medication for the COVID-19 virus. 

I spoke with Jack as part of the Center for Leadership's SLSHeroes series. These are the stories of people moving their communities forward. I asked Jack to start with how he got involved in this essential work: 



Jack describes his initial work as "Designing and optimizing an in vitro, high through-put assay to find inhibitors of macrodomains for SARS, MERS, and Chikungunya virus." In January, however, everything shifted to COVID-19 and he’s been working on a treatment that could be used to treat the disease early on in its development. Jack explained this process when he visited with our STEM scholars on April 15 and describes it briefly here: 



Even though the world first encountered the dangers of some coronaviruses back in 2003 with the SARS outbreak, to date no pharmaceutical company has produced a medication that treats SARS or its closely related virus, MERS.

Jack’s work has progressed from mixing different substances and enzymes to validating his experiments so that the drugs will be ready to screen. His is a detection system that will work with FDA approved drugs to determine their effectiveness in treating COVID-19. Meanwhile, he’s one of two people allowed to stay in the Johns Hopkins lab—on a typical day he only sees security, custodial staff and his lab mate: 

Apart from hearing about Jack’s terrific work, what was quite touching about my conversation with him was hearing about why he reached out to St. Luke’s to share what he was doing: 


I can't think of a more appropriate individual to profile as an SLSHero. Jack is living the St. Luke's mission and using his wonderful mind to help the world.

See more SLSHeroes.

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 St. Luke’s is a private, secular (non-religious) independent school in New Canaan, CT serving grades 5-12. St. Luke’s mission: An exceptional education that inspires a deep love of learning, a strong moral compass, the commitment to serve, and the confidence to lead.   

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