Eight new projects addressing the COVID-19 pandemic have been awarded grants through the IGI Rapid Response Research (RRR) Fund. Because of the urgency of this public health crisis, the RRR Fund supports projects that will yield results in just 6–12 months. In an effort to deliver funds to researchers as quickly as possible, the turnaround time from RRR funding requests to awards was less than two weeks.
The new projects focus on the public impact of COVID-19, the fundamental biology of SARS-CoV-2, and tracking the evolution and spread of SARS-CoV-2. They span a variety of approaches, from sequencing SARS-CoV-2 genomes in municipal wastewater to monitor for new outbreaks, to tracking spread among California farmworkers while simultaneously assessing the accuracy of less-invasive saliva swabbing, to assessing the effectiveness of virtual mentoring for STEM students and finding best practices to guide the next generation of scientists during this crisis. The projects are listed in full below.
The RRR awards were given to Bay Areas researchers at different career stages at UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and made possible by generous philanthropic support. All discoveries, results, and new technologies that come out of the RRR projects and other IGI COVID-19 efforts will be freely available, in accordance with our pledge to share COVID-19 intellectual property.
IGI RRR Fund Projects
- Next generation sequencing to inform COVID-19 outbreak response in Madagascar.
Cara E. Brook, UC Berkeley
- Real-time genomic tracking of SARS-CoV-2 evolution and spread in Northern California.
Charles Chiu, UCSF
- Virtual mentoring: Impacts of COVID-19 on the next generation of the scientific workforce.
Laleh Coté, LBNL & UC Berkeley; Anne Baranger, UC Berkeley; and Colette Flood, LBNL
- Community-based longitudinal study of asymptomatic carriage and seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in the Northern California Bay Area.
Eva Harris and Lisa Barcellos, UC Berkeley
- Community-based surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 transmission among California farmworkers.
Joseph Lewnard, Brenda Eskenazi, and Ana María Mora-Wyrobek, UC Berkeley
- Early detection of COVID-19 reemergence via strain-level surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 and RNA viromes in municipal wastewater.
Kara Nelson, Jill Banfield, and Dave Savage, UC Berkeley
- Structural studies of the COVID-19 replication/transcription holo-complex.
Eva Nogales, UC Berkeley
- Transcriptomic features of cellular and tissue pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in human tissues.
Bruce Wang, UCSF
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