UofG awarded more than £1m to undertake rapid COVID-19 research

Published: 29 April 2020

UofG has been awarded more than £1m from the Scottish Government to undertake nine crucial COVID-19 research projects

The University of Glasgow has been awarded more than £1m from the Scottish Government to undertake nine crucial COVID-19 research projects.

The funds are part of £5m awarded by the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist Office, after a rapid research response call aimed at increasing the understanding of the coronavirus pandemic. The work will contribute to global efforts to combat the virus and its wider effects.

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Fifteen Scottish universities and research institutions share in the funding for a total of 55 projects, with the University of Glasgow receiving the highest total funding amount of just over £1m.

The University will now begin work on nine crucial COVID-19 research projects looking into key areas including treatments for the virus, underlying health conditions, secondary infections and the long terms effects of social distancing on the population.

The nine research projects funded by the Scottish Government are:

  • Prof Kevin Blyth: ASTERIX: Adaptive Salvage Treatment based on Endotype-directed anti-virals and Immunomodulation – an NHS framework to enable research and clinical trials
  • Dr Janet Scott: Glasgow Early Treatment Arm Favipiravir (GETAFIX): A randomised controlled study of favipiravir as an early treatment arm of ASTERIX in COVID-19 hospitalised patients
  • Prof RhianTouyz: Hypertension, inhibitors of the renin angiotensin system and COVID-19
  • Prof Colin Berry: Cardiac Imaging in SARS Coronavirus disease-19 (CISCO-19) 
  • Dr Christopher Carlin: CARP: COVID-19 Advanced Respiratory Physiological Platform 
  • Prof Carl Goodyear: Viral and Immunological Correlates of Clinical Severity and Response to Anti-Viral Therapy for COVID-19
  • Prof Andrew Roe: Markers of disease: identifying bacterial secondary infections in COVID+ patients
  • Dr Katie Robb: Understanding longer term impacts of social distancing and behavioural interventions introduced to prevent the spread of infection in the population
  • Prof Sarah Armstrong: Social and health impacts of COVID-19 suppression in vulnerable groups

Professor Iain McInnes, Director of the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, said: “I am delighted that scientists at the University of Glasgow are able to contribute so greatly to this rapid research call by the Scottish Government.

“It is vitally important that we understand as much as we can about this virus, including how we can successfully treat it, and the effect it is having on patients. It is also important that we understand the wider impacts of the pandemic, and I am certain our world-leading researchers will be able to provide key insights that will help the global fight against this disease.”

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “Scotland is home to some of the most respected researchers and scientists in the world. COVID-19 is the biggest challenge we have faced in our lifetimes and it is vital that we capture the potential of the extraordinarily strong research base here to contribute to the global efforts to tackle and mitigate the impact of it.  

“I know many academics are already thinking about how their research can be used during this national and international emergency. This funding enables universities and research institutions to immediately draw on the very best science and methodologies available to build on our understanding of this virus, develop new treatments, stop infection and support people’s mental and physical health.”

Chief Scientist for Health Professor David Crossman said: “The range of projects – both scientific subject areas and the different research institutions - that are receiving funding will help us understand many aspects of this terrible disease. The projects selected for funding all aim to give results as quickly as possible.

“Scotland is in a strong position to undertake clinical research and the response from universities and research institution to this COVID-19 research call emphatically reinforces that view.”

The Rapid Research in COVID-19 funding call was launched by the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist Office on 25 March 2020.

ali.howard@glasgow.ac.uk or elizabeth.mcmeekin@glasgow.ac.uk / 0141 330 6557 or 0141 330 4831

First published: 29 April 2020