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The Making of Medicine

A Young Leader Changing Healthcare

Congratulations to our Dr. Taison Bell for being named one of Business Insider’s “30 Leaders Under 40 Changing Healthcare.”

Dr. Bell, 37, has been a key player in our COVID-19 response. He cares for patients in our COVID-19 units and helped lead a major local collaboration to bolster supplies of personal protective equipment.

Dr. Bell was also essential in bringing a clinical trial of remdesivir to UVA. He contacted senior researchers from the National Institutes of Health who were running the trial and eventually earned approval for us to join. Based on the trial’s findings, the drug has received emergency-use authorization from the  U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a COVID-19 treatment.

“This was such an important moment for us because it was the first time we had a good headline in the fight against COVID-19,” Dr. Bell said. “This was the first drug proven in a randomized study to improve clinical outcomes, and I’m so glad to have played a part in bringing it to UVA.”

Dr. Bell, a specialist in critical care and pulmonary medicine, also has co-founded a startup company, Owl Peak Labs, to develop an easier at-home screening test for colorectal cancer, a condition that is highly treatable if caught early.

The disease disproportionately affects patients of color. In fact, Dr. Bell’s great-great-grandmother – who had never been screened – died from the disease.

“Colorectal cancer is a largely preventable disease but tens of thousands in the United States still die from it every year,” he said. “We’ve come so far already, but innovative technology is needed to diagnose it earlier in more people.”

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