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ASU professor named most creative person for Ebola work

PHOENIX — An Arizona State University professor has been named Fast Company’s most creative person of the year for his Ebola drug research.

Charles Arntzen was the man behind an experimental treatment used on two American doctors who contracted the disease in Africa. Both began a rapid recovery after receiving the treatment.

Arntzen’s ZMapp treatment is derived from the tobacco plant. He came up with the idea while working on low-cost vaccines to battle infectious diseases in the developing world.

“I never anticipated we would get ZMapp into human testing for another three or four years, and suddenly, the urgency of the situation in West Africa was upon us,” he told ASU News.

The global response to ZMapp after both patients recovered has been impressive. The drug is now being tested in humans in Liberia and Arntzen received a $25 million grant to further his research.