Response of HUB to COVID-19 Pandemic


Response of this Hub to the COVID-19 Pandemic

At the time of writing, intensive preparation is underway at this Hub in anticipation of a surge in cases of COVID-19. Elements of the Hub – the CHPS, the IDS and the PMBB are integral to this effort as sites for clinical research, investigational drug preparation and biosample storage and analysis. Hub investigators have been active in development and sharing of questionnaires, biosampling pipelines, remote monitoring technology and data from our EHR with other Hubs via miniconsortia, CD2H and the ACT Network. Our CTS investigators are launching trials to assess DNA and RNA vaccines developed at this Hub and are involved in all aspects of our research response – serology, drug repurposing, trials of small molecules and observational studies – with OCR playing a key role. The diverse response of the Hub research community is overseen by a Research Oversight Committee (ROC) chaired by the P.I., Dr. FitzGerald. The ROC is charged with prioritization, strategic guidance, coordination and communication with the Hub community. Finally, besides these immediate engagements with our response to the crisis, we hope to learn from it. We have added an educational module (as described above) to our Master’s program that we will also make available as a certificate course. Ironically, we had anticipated the crisis with the re-orientation of the PICAB program to integrate campus wide approaches to zoonoses and by the inclusion of speakers in our fall ITMAT symposium from the World Health Organization and on RNA vaccines from Penn (Dr. D. Weissman). We had expanded our HI Translational Therapeutics Core to include RNA vaccines as an additional modality.