PT Prof. Joseph Roche's COVID-19 hypothesis paper named top cited and downloaded article of 2020-21

Wayne State University Associate Professor of Physical Therapy Joseph Roche's leading paper on a COVID-19 treatment possibility, published in the FASEB Journal early in the pandemic, has been recognized as one of the top-cited articles, as well as one of the top 10 most downloaded articles, between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2021, per data from Clarivate Analytics.

"While this is a gratifying personal scholarly achievement, what is even more heartening for me is the validation that PTs, as movement experts, have the scientific training and temperament that's needed to make high impact contributions to biomedical science," Roche said. "I am incredibly grateful for the support I receive from the PT Program, the HCS Department, WSU Applebaum and WSU at large."

Joseph and Renuka RocheRoche and his wife, Renuka ("Ray") – an OT professor at Eastern Michigan University and a developmental neurology expert – collaborated on COVID-19 research as they sheltered in place during March and April 2020.

Poring over literature on COVID-19 and related infections, the Roches developed and prepared a detailed description of their BK model for COVID-19 complications, including a discussion on possible links between genetics and worse outcomes, and dysregulated BK signaling and the loss of smell and increased thirst. They were careful to cite all original research literature that helped them develop their model and their suggestion for the use of icatibant. They also did due diligence in pointing out the limitations of their model. This work culminated in the submission of a Hypothesis article to FASEB’s flagship journal on April 20, 2020. It was accepted just two days later.

On May 2, 2020, A Hypothesized Role for Dysregulated Bradykinin Signaling in COVID-19 Respiratory Complications appeared on the FASEB website as the online version of record before inclusion in the June 2020 issue of the monthly journal.

Watch the Roches discuss their research

In addition to being cited extensively in scientific literature, Roche and Ray's impactful teamwork has been featured in mainstream publications such as SEEN magazine and Vox, they have been invited to speak numerous times, and Roche earned a 2021 WSU Board of Governors Faculty Recognition Award in honor of his contributions to COVID-19 research. 

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