24 projects get rapid response grants to lessen effects of COVID-19

Coronavirus

MIAMI, Fla. (WKRG) — Twenty-four University of Miami research teams have received rapid response grants to undertake innovative projects that will provide critical information about the novel coronavirus.

The grants, which range from $5,000 to $40,000, require faculty members and students to develop and execute research that will somehow broaden our understanding of COVID-19 and begin to mitigate its impacts within the next four months. After the four months are over, teams will be asked to report their progress.

Projects include:

  • Point-of-Care Oral Rinse Test for COVID-19

This project will enable the development of an oral rinse test that detects COVID-19 earlier and saves lives by directing resources and quarantine efforts to patients who need them most. Researchers will perform testing with the current prototype on a confirmed COVID-19 patient to determine the best antigen and concentration.

  • COVID-19 in Otolaryngology: Early Identification and Healthcare Worker Protection

Ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctors play a key role in the treatment of COVID-19, but they are at high risk of exposure. This team will identify ENT issues in COVID-19 patients at the University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospital and evaluate new approaches to case identification and health care worker protection.

  • Increasing HealthCare workforce safety by 3D-printing novel N95 masks

This team will test, evaluate, and create new reusable mask designs for use in the health care setting to limit exposure and protect medical personnel and first responders who treat coronavirus patients. The aim is to provide masks to workers within the University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospital first. Finalized mask designs can be shared with other medical facilities.

  • Developing a COVID-19 Early Detection, Tracking and Re-Porting System

Given the surfeit of social media data accompanying the recent outbreak of COVID-19, this group will take a computational and big data-driven approach to uncovering information about viral transmission, social sentiment and response, decision-making, and public health policy recommendations. The group proposes to develop algorithm(s), as well as an online early alert system, to provide early warnings for disease surveillance tied to geographical data.

You can read the full news release here: https://news.miami.edu/stories/2020/04/fast-tracked-research-projects-aim-to-respond-quickly-to-mitigate-effects-of-covid-19.html

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