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Anthony Harrelson of North Carolina- Harnessing th
Anthony Harrelson of North Carolina- Harnessing th

Anthony Harrelson of North Carolina has worked to create workable immunotherapies for the company he created, White Oak Industries. Harrelson hopes that his therapies for viral infections will someday become ubiquitous and the subject of ukases in other countries. Immunotherapy reprograms a patient’s immune system to attack cells that have been infected with a virus. Previous viral therapies for serious, life-threatening, highly infectious viral diseases like Marburg virus, Ebola, and even HIV have been drug-based. Drug therapies have their advantages. For some viruses, they are very effective, especially if the drugs are administered early in the virus’s incubation period. The problem with drug-based therapies is that sometimes the viruses become drug resistant. If replication occurs when a drug is present, mutations could be created that are unaffected by the drug therapy, and the virus will be resistant to that drug.

Anthony Harrelson of North Carolina has found a potentially world-changing alternative, however. His immunotherapy focuses on the patient’s immune system, specifically the dendritic cells. Dendritic cells tell the immune system where it should focus its T cells and antibodies. Dr. Harrelson and his team at White Oak Industries try to reprogram these dendritic cells to attack only cells infected with a specific virus.

Anthony Harrelson of North Carolina is trying to complete testing for his immunotherapy. He hopes that one day his treatment will spread around the world and help the millions of people suffering from highly infectious viral diseases. Dr. Harrelson still lives in North Carolina, never far from his homeland, in Archdale.