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UMR MEMBERS DEPLOY BIOMEDICAL INNOVATION TO FIGHT COVID-19

UMR members, representing leading research institutions, patient and health advocates and private industry, are engaging on all fronts in the effort to keep people safe and detect, treat and prevent COVID-19.

The information here is a small sampling of the efforts underway by UMR members.

Highlights


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Medtech companies are manufacturing critical COVID-19 tests

Doctors, nurses and health care providers fighting on the front lines against the coronavirus are modern-day heroes. Every day they selflessly risk their own health to provide essential care to prevent, test for and treat this deadly virus. Behind the scenes, the medical technology industry is working around-the-clock to manufacture the critical supplies providers need to combat the virus. Across the country, manufacturers are adding shifts, ramping up alternative production lines and working overtime to produce personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators and the diagnostic tests desperately needed on the front lines.
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AdvaMed announces VentConnect online platform to scale the production and distribution of ventilators

The new platform was developed pro bono with the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), Google, and other industry alliances and partners. AIA represents more than 300 high-tech manufacturers and suppliers of all sizes across a range of sectors. AdvaMed is the world’s largest medical technology association, representing more than 400 companies, including ventilator manufacturers. In addition to AIA members, more than 50 companies – such as Stanley Black & Decker, and Arrow Electronics – from a range of industries are contributing as suppliers to VentConnect.
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COVID-19 MedTech Resource Center

This website provides important information to companies about the federal response to COVID-19 — specifically those actions that directly impact the medtech industry — best practices, and other resources.
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AAAS and Science Journals Provide Scientific Information on COVID-19 Worldwide

The American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Science family of journals are applying formidable resources to keep the scientific community and the public well informed on the coronavirus pandemic. Science, published by AAAS, has shared research findings and made data swiftly available over recent weeks to spur scientific advances, outline public health opportunities to slow the spread of COVID-19, and help protect the wellbeing of people across the globe. The journal has accelerated its publishing practices governing the release of research papers on coronavirus and urged scientists to post their submitted studies on preprint sites, all the while preserving the peer-review process to ensure the validity of the research published in the journals.
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COVID-19 Resources

As the research community and decision-makers worldwide respond to the coronavirus pandemic, Science and AAAS are working tirelessly to provide credible, evidence-based information and bring you the latest research and commentary, along with extensive news coverage of the crisis. This critical work has been generously supported by the Pulitzer Center, Google News, and a growing list of individual donors through gifts to our Flexible Action Fund.
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Experts highlight how science diplomacy combats pandemics

Scientists have long known that, sooner or later, a previously unknown pathogen would jump from animals to humans and threaten to induce a pandemic, said Julia MacKenzie, director of international relations at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and other epidemiology and science diplomacy experts during an online panel discussion last week.
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COVID-19 data challenge opened to accelerate research and innovation

Data on race, under-resourced communities and COVID-19 is limited, but disproportionately high rates of sickness — and death — seem to be emerging, particularly among African Americans, U.S. Hispanics, Native People and those in rural areas. To accelerate breakthroughs and understanding of these connections, the American Heart Association, Hitachi Vantara and BurstIQ have launched a data challenge to expand the resources available to researchers.
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12 scientific teams redefining fast-tracked heart and brain health research related to COVID-19

The American Heart Association has awarded $1.2 million in grants to teams at 12 institutions across the U.S. to begin fast-tracked studies of the effects of COVID-19 on the body’s cardiovascular and cerebrovascular systems.
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Our Response to COVID-19

The American Heart Association is working with researchers, medical experts, community leaders, businesses, families and more to reduce the impact of the coronavirus.
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COVID-19: American Heart Association issues pandemic CPR guidelines

The American Heart Association (AHA) has compiled interim CPR guidelines to help rescuers treat cardiac arrest patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. The guidelines are in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Society of Anesthesiologists, American Association of Respiratory Care, The Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists and American College of Emergency Physicians.
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BD commits $1.1M to global COVID-19 response efforts

BD is donating $750,000 to COVID-19 response efforts in the U.S. and internationally, in addition to the $350,000 in cash and product the Company donated to COVID-19 relief efforts in China earlier this year, bringing the Company\'s total COVID-19 response contributions to $1.1 million. The new funding is being deployed through six non-profit partners, to support healthcare workers in the United States, Europe, Latin America and China in their collaborative battle against COVID-19.
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COVID-19: A clinician’s account from the front lines

At a time when health care systems around the globe are struggling to keep up with the influx of patients from the COVID-19 crisis, BD employees with clinical backgrounds are stepping up to help. One of these amazing individuals, Adam Wires, RN, CVAA(C), VA-BC and a clinical specialist with BD – Canada, recently volunteered to serve alongside other healthcare heroes at a hospital in his local community.
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BD, BioGX Announce FDA Emergency Use Authorization Submissions for New COVID-19 Diagnostics for Use in U.S.

BD and BioGX Inc, announced March 16 that the companies have submitted Emergency Use Authorization requests to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for new diagnostic tests that, if authorized, would increase the potential capacity to screen for COVID-19 (coronavirus) by thousands of tests per day. The tests would help fill an urgent need across the U.S. for laboratories to access an easy-to-use, rapid diagnostic test to screen patients for COVID-19.
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BIO COVID-19 Therapeutic Development Tracker

BIO’s Industry Analysis Team has reviewed and annotated pipeline data from BioCentury and Biomedtracker to create an interactive view of the Covid-19 pipeline. The team has investigated each drug as to original inventor (company/country), mechanism of action, and strategic approach, as well as de-duplicated programs for the same active ingredient (for example, hydroxychloroquine is counted only once). This data will be updated weekly on Monday mornings.
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I AM BIO Podcast

This is the only podcast at the intersection of biotechnology, politics, patients and the planet. We spotlight next-generation breakthroughs, the people they help, the global problems they solve and politicians with the power to fast-track a better future or mess it all up. Hosted by former Congressman Jim Greenwood. Current episodes look at COVID-19 from a variety of different angles.
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BioCentury/BIO joint survey finds COVID-19 has forced many companies to modify their clinical trials

COVID-19 is no longer an approaching threat to clinical trials, now the concern for biotechs is how to manage their trials through the crisis. According to a recent survey, on-the-fly protocol amendments are fast becoming a necessity, and companies want assurance regulators will be flexible with the resulting datasets. Over three quarters of the 99 survey respondents said their ability to start new trials or to continue active trials has been hindered by the coronavirus.
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Coronavirus Resource Hub

To ensure critical research and development programs can continue, BIO created the Coronavirus Hub. It connects companies with capacity and resources with those that need them. Users are able to post requests for urgently needed items and announce the availability of supplies and capacity. The portal connects in real-time through customized and searchable postings.
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Tiny, decoy “sponges” attract Coronavirus away from lung cells

New nanotechnology tested at BU’s NEIDL stops SARS-CoV-2 from infecting cells and replicating. The breakthrough technology could have major implications for fighting the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the global pandemic that’s already claimed nearly 450,000 lives and infected more than eight million people. But, perhaps even more significantly, it has the potential to be adapted to combat virtually any virus, such as influenza or even Ebola.
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Google data reveals which policies best promote physical distancing

State mandates intended to promote physical distancing—especially limits on bars and restaurants—do reduce the amount of time people spend away from their places of residence, according to a new study by Boston University School of Public Health (SPH) researcher Gregory Wellenius, who collaborated on the work with Google as part of its COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports project.
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A signal moment

The Massachusetts Consortium on Pathogen Readiness (MassCPR), a multi-institutional initiative convened by Harvard Medical School to combat the disease and prepare for future outbreaks, on May 13 announced over $16.5 million in funding to support 62 research projects that address the most pressing challenges of the pandemic. The initiative includes scientists and clinicians from Harvard, MIT, Boston University, Tufts University, University of Massachusetts and local biomedical research institutes, biotech companies and academic medical centers.
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BU Engineers Are Taking on the Coronavirus Pandemic

Researchers are mobilizing to develop better, faster COVID-19 testing and improved medical equipment Across Boston University’s School of Engineering, researchers are pivoting their work to tackle the many engineering problems associated with the global coronavirus pandemic. These efforts are in addition to the first wave of help, across BU’s Charles River and Medical Campuses, that gathered personal protective equipment (PPE) from labs—shuttered by Governor Charlie Baker’s stay-at-home advisory—to donate to healthcare workers in Massachusetts.
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Green, yellow, orange or red? This new tool shows COVID-19 risk in your county

Researchers at the Harvard Global Health Institute are leading a collaboration of top scientists at institutions around the country who have joined forces to create a unified set of metrics, including a shared definition of risk levels — and tools for communities to fight the coronavirus.
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Dashboard & Key Metrics for COVID Suppression

Harvard Global Health Institute, the Harvard Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Rockefeller Foundation, CovidActNow, Covid-Local, CIDRAP and others have launched a new COVID Risk Level map and COVID suppression guidance for policy makers and the public. The map, which tracks to the county level, allows users to understand how severe the pandemic is where they live and make risk mitigation decisions based on a consistent metric.
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Wyss Institute to accelerate drug testing for COVID treatment

The Wyss Institute and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have signed an agreement worth up to $16 million over the next year to use Wyss technologies to identify and test FDA-approved drugs that could be repurposed to prevent or treat COVID-19. Specifically, DARPA will use the computational drug-discovery pipelines and human organ chip technologies developed by the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. (For more on how organ chip technologies work, listen to UMR\'s Amazing Things Podcast episode \"a conversation with NCAT\'s Dr. Lucie Low\" - listen here.)
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The Brain Architects Podcast: COVID-19 Special Edition

While the coronavirus pandemic has changed many things around the world, it has not stopped child development. In this series of special episodes of The Brain Architects - a podcast from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University - we aim to share helpful resources and ideas in support of all those who are caring for children while dealing with the impacts of COVID-19.
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Millions track the pandemic on Johns Hopkins’s dashboard. Those who built it say some miss the real story.

Since launching in January, the university’s Coronavirus Resource Center has exploded in scope and popularity, garnering millions of page views and popping up in news coverage and daily conversation. Through numbers, the tracker has told the story of what the virus is doing while the story is still unfolding, offering a nearly real-time picture of its silent march across the globe.
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Johns Hopkins team develops new method to make kidney dialysis fluid for patients with COVID-19

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the manufacturing and supply chains for many products. But while shortages of toilet paper, disinfectant cleaners, and hand sanitizer get most of the news coverage, the diminishing reserve of one item — kidney dialysis fluid, also known as dialysate — presents a grave threat to the lives of people with acute kidney injury (AKI), including the approximately 3% to 9% of COVID-19 patients who develop the disorder.
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Johns Hopkins ‘Go Team’ helps nursing homes manage COVID-19

Johns Hopkins doctors and nurses fanned out through an Ellicott City nursing home. They tested residents for COVID-19, assessed the health of those who had the disease, talked with staff members about infection-prevention strategies and provided moral support. The facility wasn’t the first in Maryland to contend with COVID-19. But it was one of the first to get help from the Johns Hopkins Go Team — a disaster response unit formed a decade ago to provide clinical and logistical support to communities around the world that are reeling from hurricanes, earthquakes and other catastrophes.
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Hopkins Launches COVID-19 Testing Insights Initiative

Johns Hopkins University has announced the launch of the COVID-19 Testing Insights Initiative, a one-stop resource hub that fills the void of publicly-available information about COVID-19 testing data and offers critical insights, resources, and expert analysis about COVID-19 testing around the nation. Through dynamic, continuously updated data visualizations, the Testing Insights Initiative offers a new, intuitive way to view and understand key data and insights to inform public policies and responses to the pandemic.
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Johnson & Johnson to begin human trials for coronavirus vaccine in late July, earlier than expected

Johnson & Johnson announced Wednesday its early-stage human trial for a potential coronavirus vaccine will begin in the second half of July, earlier than its initial forecast of September. “Based on the strength of the preclinical data we have seen so far and interactions with the regulatory authorities, we have been able to further accelerate the clinical development of our investigational SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, Ad26.COV2-S, recombinant,” J&J’s Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels said in a press release.
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J&J Strikes Deal With Emergent BioSolutions on Coronavirus Vaccine Manufacturing

Johnson & Johnson said on Thursday it had struck a deal with Emergent BioSolutions Inc to use its manufacturing facilities to help in an effort to make more than 1 billion doses of a vaccine it is testing to stop the novel coronavirus. The U.S. healthcare conglomerate said the deal was the first in a series of prospective global partnerships to accelerate manufacturing of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine candidate, even before it has a signal that it works.
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NIH launches effort to speed up development of COVID-19 treatments

In an bid to help speed up the development of potential treatment options and a vaccine for COVID-19, the National Institutes of Health on April 17 announced a new public-private research partnership. Among the 16 companies participating in the effort are Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Merck.
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NIH to launch public-private partnership to speed COVID-19 vaccine and treatment options

The National Institutes of Health and the Foundation for the NIH (FNIH) are bringing together more than a dozen leading biopharmaceutical companies, the Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency to develop an international strategy for a coordinated research response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “COVID-19 is the most significant global health challenge of our lifetime, and it will take all of us working together as a global community to put an end to this pandemic,” said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson.
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MIT researchers: Lack of reopening coordination comes at a cost

People\'s adherence to COVID-19 shelter in place orders is influenced by friends and family even in other states, according to a new working paper. For that reason, researchers said failure to coordinate the lifting of such orders comes at a substantial cost.
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Harvard and MIT researchers are developing a face mask that lights up when it detects the coronavirus

Pandemics were top of mind for Jim Collins years before the new coronavirus emerged. In 2014, his bioengineering laboratory at MIT began developing sensors that could detect the Ebola virus when it was freeze-dried onto a piece of paper. The small team of scientists from MIT and Harvard first published their research in 2016; by then, they\'d tailored the technology to address the growing threat of the Zika virus. Now, they\'re adjusting their tool again to identify coronavirus cases.
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A signal moment

The Massachusetts Consortium on Pathogen Readiness (MassCPR), a multi-institutional initiative convened by Harvard Medical School to combat the disease and prepare for future outbreaks, on May 13 announced over $16.5 million in funding to support 62 research projects that address the most pressing challenges of the pandemic. The initiative includes scientists and clinicians from Harvard, MIT, Boston University, Tufts University, University of Massachusetts and local biomedical research institutes, biotech companies and academic medical centers.
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3 Questions: Michael Yaffe on treating Covid-19 patients with acute respiratory distress

During the Covid-19 pandemic, frontline health care workers have had to adapt rapidly to treating patients with lung failure, not only because of shortages of equipment such as ventilators often used to treat severe cases, but also because such approaches are not always effective due to the unique and still imperfectly understood pathology of Covid-19 infections.
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1st-Known U.S. Lung Transplant For COVID-19 Patient Performed In Chicago

Doctors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago announced Thursday they\'ve performed the first successful double-lung transplant on a COVID-19 patient in the United States. The woman in her 20s was otherwise healthy but developed a severe case of COVID-19 that resulted in hospitalization, says Dr. Ankit Bharat, Northwestern\'s chief of thoracic surgery.
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Placentas from COVID-19-positive pregnant women show injury

The placentas from 16 women who tested positive for COVID-19 while pregnant showed evidence of injury, according to pathological exams completed directly following birth, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study.  The type of injury seen in the placentas shows abnormal blood flow between the mothers and their babies in utero, pointing to a new complication of COVID-19. The findings, though early, could help inform how pregnant women should be clinically monitored during the pandemic.
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Virus-deactivating mask project receives NSF RAPID grant

A research team led by Associate Professor of Chemistry Omar Farha has received a $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a chemically modified face mask that can deactivate viruses, including the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. In addition to reducing the spread of the virus, the innovation will allow healthcare workers to re-use protective face masks, which are in critically short supply.
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Northwestern team develops new antibody test for COVID-19

As antibody testing ramps up across the country, Northwestern University researchers have developed a new method for testing for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) antibodies. The method requires only a single drop of blood collected from a simple finger prick.
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Stanford biochemist works with gamers to develop COVID-19 vaccine

It seems like there\'s no shortage of news about the novel coronavirus that is sweeping the globe. But if you\'re like me, you\'re paying special attention to any and all information about the race to develop a vaccine -- a crucial step that will save lives and (hopefully) restore life back to something like pre-pandemic times. Recently, Stanford biochemist Rhiju Das, PhD, joined the global effort to create a safe, widely available vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, with a new project called OpenVaccine.
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New Design Helps N95 Mask Wearers Breathe Easier

Wearing high-grade filter masks can help protect against the novel coronavirus. But after a few hours, these tight-fitting devices can also make it really hard to breathe. N95 respirators, for example, are famously good at blocking viral particles—but they can also reduce the amount of available oxygen by up to 20 percent. Now some Stanford University researchers are addressing this problem with a portable device that pumps pure O2 directly to the wearer.
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Science in the Fast Lane

The race to respond to the pandemic may mark a watershed in how scientists mobilize and work together to face challenges, with the science of yore seeming as slow as lounge music by comparison. In a short time, the virus has already brought about regulatory changes and an unprecedented volume of publications, not to mention stories of perseverance and teamwork that scientists will be sharing for years to come.
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The Future of Everything Podcast: COVID-19 Special Edition

Listen to this special series of Stanford Engineering’s The Future of Everything podcast to learn how researchers from across the university are bringing their insights and knowledge to address the challenges of COVID-19.
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How does a SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) test work?

Hundreds of thousands of people are being tested for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) around the world and the tests themselves are a crucial starting point in efforts to flatten the spread of the virus. This episode of Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Science with a Twist podcast talks with Senior Director of Genetic Sciences, Joshua Tratta who explains how tests are created, how they’re performed and how they’re analyzed.
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Manufacturer adds 300 jobs in Johnson County to produce materials for COVID-19 tests

Thermo Fisher Scientific, a Massachusetts-based medical device firm, will bring 300 new jobs to Lenexa, KS as the company looks to ramp up production of materials for COVID-19 tests for a federal contract.
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Thermo Fisher Scientific Response to COVID-19 Expands to Include New Serology Test in Collaboration with WuXi Diagnostics and Mayo Clinic

\"Rapidly expanding access to high-quality testing requires bold collaborations across the laboratory industry. This marks a significant milestone in our national testing response to COVID-19 and was made possible by bringing together the commercialization capabilities of Thermo Fisher Scientific, testing development abilities of WuXi Diagnostics, and clinical and laboratory expertise of Mayo Clinic physicians and scientists,\" said Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., chief executive officer and president of Mayo Clinic.
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Thermo Fisher Scientific Announces SARS-CoV-2 GlobalAccess Sequencing Program

To accelerate national, multi-institutional efforts focused on mapping coronavirus transmission and epidemiological studies, Thermo Fisher Scientific today announces the SARS-CoV-2 GlobalAccess Sequencing Program for research consortia and industry groups battling the spread of the pandemic globally. Under the program, the company will provide 50 units of the Ion Torrent Genexus System at a subsidized price to support global collaborative COVID-19 research.
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Gene therapy program at Penn Medicine joins AAVCOVID vaccine project

The internationally-renowned Gene Therapy Program at the University of Pennsylvania is joining the AAVCOVID vaccine program led by Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), members of Mass General Brigham for the joint research program. AAVCOVID is a unique gene-based vaccine candidate designed to protect against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
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COVID-19’s assault on Black and Brown communities

African-American and Latinx populations are being devastated by the coronavirus, in Philadelphia, statewide, and across the country. Members of the Black and Latinx communities make up a disproportionate amount of COVID-19 cases, and have more severe outcomes when they are hospitalized.
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What are the economic and health effects when states reopen?

Based on its new Coronavirus Policy Response Simulator, the Penn Wharton Budget Model (PWBM), led by Wharton professor and faculty director Kent Smetters, cautions if states open too quickly, that comes with a cost that could result in more deaths. The PWBM is a nonpartisan initiative providing economic analysis of public policy’s fiscal impact for policymakers to make data-based decisions. This analysis was presented in a Wharton LinkedIn Live event on May 5.
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The front-line researchers: The next generation of scientists steps up to fight the pandemic

It\'s not just the seasoned, established investigators who’ve put their own research on pause to work on a singular new cause. Another generation of researchers has been working on the scientific front line, often putting in 12 hour days, seven days a week, at the bench and at the bedside. Penn Medicine graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and laboratory technicians have also dedicated their energy and efforts to fight this virus.
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Team uses imaging to study ways the heart is affected by coronavirus

Vanderbilt University Medical Center investigators are using imaging and diagnostic pathology to examine postmortem hearts donated by victims of COVID-19. They are looking for blood clots, vascular damage and inflammation to gain a better understanding of how the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 affects the heart.
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VUMC joins global effort to explore COVID-19 genetics

Vanderbilt University Medical Center investigators have joined an international genetics effort to make advances as quickly as possible on understanding and treating COVID-19. The COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative is bringing together the human genetics community to share resources for genetics research, such as consent forms, sample collection procedures and algorithms for utilizing data as it comes into electronic health records. The initiative’s goal is to learn the genetic determinants of COVID-19 susceptibility, severity and outcomes.
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Study launched to test hydroxychloroquine as treatment for COVID-19

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is leading a clinical trial to understand if hydroxychloroquine, a well-known drug used for malaria and rheumatologic conditions, is safe and effective in treating hospitalized adults with COVID-19.
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Vanderbilt team develops COVID-19 predictive model for Tennessee

A team including health economists, epidemiologists and a biostatistician at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt University are amassing and processing data to develop a complex predictive model of the spread of COVID-19 within Tennessee, with region-specific projections, as well as a model of projected resource use during response to the pandemic.
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Medical students assist health departments in tracking COVID-19

As the St. Louis region grapples with reopening businesses and lifting stay-at-home orders, more than 100 students at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have been volunteering to help local health departments perform case investigations and contact tracing, which are essential public health strategies to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
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COVID-19 mouse model will speed search for drugs, vaccines

The global effort to quickly develop drugs and vaccines for COVID-19 has been hampered by limited numbers of laboratory mice that are susceptible to infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Now, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report they have developed a mouse model of COVID-19 that replicates the illness in people. Further, the same approach could be adopted easily by other scientists to dramatically accelerate the testing of experimental COVID-19 treatments and preventives.
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COVID-19 study looks at genetics of healthy people who develop severe illness

To help unravel the mysteries of COVID-19, scientists are sequencing the DNA of young, healthy adults and children who develop severe illness despite having no underlying medical problems. The researchers are looking for genetic defects that could put certain individuals at high risk of becoming severely ill from the novel coronavirus. The McDonnell Genome Institute at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is one of more than 30 genome sequencing hubs worldwide participating in the study.
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Washington University comes together to support the St. Louis community

“From the physicians on the frontlines to the researchers tracking the virus to the faculty members who are helping businesses and nonprofits stay afloat, our community is showing up every day with compassion, commitment and ingenuity,” said Wash U Chancellor Andrew D. Martin. “I am especially moved by the can-do spirit of our students who have launched organizations to tutor local students, deliver meals, provide child care and reach out to isolated seniors.”

Our Members

UMR is a coalition of leading research institutions, patient and health advocates and private industry seeking steady and sustainable increases in funding for the National Institutes of Health in order to save and improve lives, advance innovation and fuel the economy.