USU, U of U receive grants to study COVID-19

Colleges and universities across Utah are adapting to slow the spread of COVID-19. Instruction has moved online, large gatherings have been postponed or canceled, and more. Though Utah’s higher education campuses look different during this time, Utah’s two research universities are committed to tackling COVID-19 through cutting-edge research. 

To further slow the spread and tackle COVID-19 head-on, both the University of Utah and Utah State University received medical research grants to study and test aspects of COVID-19.

Utah State University

USU’s Institute for Antiviral Research, which is studying the virus, specializes in developing animal models for testing antiviral agents and vaccines.

Faculty and technicians working with the novel coronavirus finalized the funding for animal model development to investigate possible treatments this month after research began in late February.

The lab at USU is experimenting with different disease models simultaneously and is utilizing a database of antiviral compounds they developed from in vitro testing against the 2003 SARS and MERS viruses.

University of Utah

The National Science Foundation awarded the University of Utah nearly $200,000 to study how the changing seasons will affect the spread of the coronavirus–strain SARS-COV-2.

The grant will be used to test how the structure of the coronavirus withstands changes in humidity and temperature, and under what conditions the virus falls apart.

“The results will help public health officials understand how the virus behaves under various environmental conditions, including in the changing seasons and in microclimates such as air-conditioned offices,” according to a news article from the U.

The National Science Foundation awarded the University of Utah an additional $200,000 to study the role mucus plays in transferring coronaviruses from person to person.

The USHE Board of Regents applauds the U of U and USU for their ongoing research on this urgent issue.