As a COVID-19 researcher, we appreciate the publication of the Dallas Morning News article by Sue Ambrose (Eagle, July 18). It pointed out that President Donald Trump’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson, turned to John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, for help in searching for a cure for COVID-19.
It is no surprise that Dr. Carson should contact the chancellor for guidance, given Sharp's strong leadership in the fight against the pandemic.
Throughout the past 16 months, John Sharp encouraged and supported a variety of innovations and research projects against COVID, and he kept the public informed about vital progress on a weekly television program.
Two examples of his leadership are on display in 2020 peer-reviewed articles on research into the best ways to detect COVID-19. An article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences focused on progress in direct detection using laser spectroscopy.
A paper in Applied Physics Letters focused on indirect detection — in other words testing for the effects of the virus, such as the production of antibodies by an infected individual.
Chancellor Sharp’s encouragement was noted by researchers in the acknowledgments: “We would like to express our deep appreciation to TAMUS Chancellor John Sharp, without whom this project would not have happened.”
Indeed, Texas A&M and the entire state of Texas are fortunate to have the clear vision of John Sharp in these troubled times.
MARLAN O. SCULLY
Distinguished Professor, Texas A&M
Member, National Academy of Sciences