UGA Researchers Tackle COVID-19
Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:
We mark another week of finding new ways to work and learn together in unprecedented circumstances. I want to thank all of you for your adaptability, your resiliency, and your commitment to keeping yourselves and others safe. All of us are continuing to do our part to persevere through this crisis.
In particular, I am proud of the strength and flexibility of the University of Georgia’s research enterprise to step up and face this challenge. Last week, a group of nearly 40 interdisciplinary faculty met in a Zoom meeting to share the COVID-19 efforts of their various teams and explore ways to work together to accelerate progress in the fight against the virus. Still others are pressing forward to aid efforts to track, prevent, and chronicle the virus’s wide-ranging impact on individuals and society. Important work is underway at colleges and units across this institution.
A few of these efforts are highlighted below. I encourage you to visit news.uga.edu to learn more about the myriad ways our faculty, staff, and students are fighting back against this pandemic and providing resources to help others in this critical time of need.
From all indications, the COVID-19 crisis is far from over, but we remain steadfast in our commitment as a land-grant institution to provide quality instruction, conduct research to better society, and share our knowledge through public service and outreach. In the days and weeks ahead, let us continue on our mission with dogged determination, practicing patience and understanding, while taking care of each other. Together, we will prevail.
With warm regards,
Jere W. Morehead
Scientists in the lab of Dr. Ted M. Ross, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and director of UGA’s Center for Vaccines and Immunology, are developing and testing new treatments. Researchers have already begun analyzing the viral genome to find the targets that will prompt the immune system to create protective antibodies. They will examine how effective those targets are against the virus in small-scale lab tests soon.
Dr. John Drake, Distinguished Research Professor in the Odum School of Ecology, is leading a team of scientists to track and predict how COVID-19 is spreading by using a range of data sources. In January, Dr. Drake formed UGA’s Coronavirus Working Group with a team of about 20 scientists. The group built and continues to maintain the COVID-19 Portal, an interactive tool that forecasts outbreak scenarios based on models created by the team.
During this global pandemic, the need for public health response is as urgent as ever. Dr. Marsha Davis, dean of the College of Public Health, is leading faculty and students in the college’s effort to provide to communities with COVID-19-related information that is grounded in scientific evidence. Dr. Davis is also part of UGA’s Task Force on COVID-19, with a role in supporting the local community response to the pandemic.