UAB researchers launch studies to treat and prevent COVID-19

UAB researchers launch studies to treat and prevent COVID-19
(Source: {WBRC})

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - UAB researchers raised more than $1.1 million to fund research in the fight against COVID-19.

The money comes from community partners, many of them Birmingham-based businesses and one Montgomery business.

UAB officials created the Urgent COVID-19 Clinical Research and Laboratory Research Fund at UAB Medicine in March of this year in response to the pandemic.

“Our goal was to raise $1 million to establish pilot studies that could help our understanding of COVID-19 and find ways to treat the infection and reduce the spread of the virus,” said Tom Brannan, UAB vice president for Advancement. “Due to the generosity of business leaders in Birmingham and Montgomery, we quickly raised $1.1 million.”

The money was dedicated to clinical research and basic research projects proposed by UAB faculty.

In late April, 14 basic science projects were selected for funding.

“These covered a variety of approaches to tackling the SARS-CoV-2 virus itself, or COVID-19, the disease the virus causes,” Benveniste said. “Some projects dealt with infrastructure, such as tracking systems or a bio-repository and clinical registry of COVID-19.”

UAB also has multiple clinical studies underway. Clinical studies refer to studies that are conducted in patients or control groups. Many of these studies launched shortly after patients began arriving at the hospital.

“The clinical studies are a mix of therapeutic approaches to treating COVID-19 and formulating a better understanding on the effects of the virus on different subsets of our population,” said Jeanne Marrazzo, M.D., director of the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine. “These are vital new projects that might help us curb and control the pandemic and lead to new understanding about how to prevent infection in the future.”

Additional projects will look at the effects of COVID-19 on organ transplantation, its effects on pregnancy outcomes, the use of blood plasma on critically ill patients and the effects of COVID-associated mold disease. One study will examine clinical and epidemiological features of the disease in patients across the United States.

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