UofG working with UKRI to provide vital public information in the fight against COVID-19

Published: 23 June 2020

UofG has played a key role in contributing scientific research for the newly formed UKRI Coronavirus Explained website

The University of Glasgow has played a key role in contributing scientific research for the newly formed ‘Coronavirus: The Science Explained’ website, launched by UK Research & Innovation (UKRI).

The website provides authoritative scientific information available on the constantly evolving Coronavirus outbreak. It allows public access to up-to-date scientific information on the evidence and facts about the virus and its control. The website hosts a number of short articles, written by leading scientists – many of whom are currently advising government as part of the SAGE committee on its approach to tackling the pandemic.

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Eight University of Glasgow academics from the MRC Centre for Virus Research – led by Margaret Hosie and Seema Jasim – have contributed to articles featured on the website. It is intended to be a reliable data source for interested parties across the UK – from the general public seeking more information on the virus, to researchers in related fields who think their own research may be able to make a useful contribution to the response.

So far UofG have contributed expertise on areas including the potential seasonality of SARS-CoV-2, understanding that mutations do not necessarily mean new strains of the virus have emerged and highlighted lessons that can be learnt about vaccine development from animal coronaviruses. They have also explained more about COVID-19 infections in animals from infected households and covered public health and hygiene issues such as how long the new coronavirus can exist outside the body.  

UofG researchers, alongside collaborators from Glasgow School of Art, also recently showcased one of the most detailed illustrations of SARS-CoV-2, details of which were first published on the UKRI site.

Professor Massimo Palmarini, Director of the University of Glasgow MRC-Centre for Virus Research, said: “I am proud that our Centre is contributing to a platform with the aim of sharing evidence-based information on the coronavirus pandemic. It is a credit to the researchers giving their time to provide accessible and trusted information to the public.”

UKRI Chief Executive, Sir Mark Walport said, “Throughout this crisis it’s vital that people have access to up-to-date scientific information and evidence.  The Coronavirus: The Science Explained website is uniquely positioned to provide the latest science behind coronavirus in accessible language, offering a trusted and impartial resource to anyone who needs it. We are enormously grateful to the experts from The University of Glasgow who have contributed to this endeavour.”

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

First published: 23 June 2020