Fighting COVID-19: researchers racing to save lives.

Due to the extraordinary nature of this pandemic, the significant health risks, and the considerable economic consequences already being felt around the world, we need to be nimble and act decisively to support urgent frontline research. Now more than ever, it’s important we unite around a common mission.

On March 17, 2020, Stefan Leslie, CEO of Research Nova Scotia, visited Dr. David Kelvin at his Dalhousie University lab in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Dr. Kelvin is an infectious disease expert with an international research program that carries out studies around the world. His team of researchers is currently focused on COVID-19. Specifically, the goal of Dr. Kelvin’s research is to help healthcare professionals better determine which patients have the highest chances of developing a severe illness through the identification of biomarkers. If successful, this research would help give high-risk patients priority for hospitalizations and/or admission to intensive care units. Dr. Kelvin’s primary focus is developing a point-of-care device that in a very short period of time can designate which patients should go to hospital which in turn will help alleviate strain on our healthcare systems. The work will be conducted through the Canadian COVID-19 Research Network, which also includes researchers from China, Vietnam, Spain, Italy, Morocco, Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique and the United States.

In a wide-ranging discussion, Dr. Kelvin talks about how research is leading the fight against COVID-19, what it’s like to be at the forefront of a medical crisis, how his team is searching for a better way to treat patients and is contributing to the quest for a vaccine, and how you can help.

Research Nova Scotia Contribution

To further contribute to the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia’s efforts to address the COVID-19 outbreak, Research Nova Scotia (RNS) will be contributing $600,000 in rapid response match funding from its Research Opportunities Fund to Dr. David Kelvin of Dalhousie University. Dr. Kelvin, along with his international network of research colleagues, are looking for a way to quickly identify the severity of the virus in those who test positive for COVID-19. RNS is joining the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s COVID-19 funding initiative, which has committed $1 million to the project, and the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation (DMRF) which made a recent gift of $250,000 to support the project.

“As we all know, this outbreak continues to evolve daily and Dr. Kelvin’s research could have a direct impact on patient outcomes, Leslie says. “Although these funds will have a positive impact on current research capacity, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to ensure this world-class research can continue to thrive. “We’re hoping this support from Research Nova Scotia will encourage other people, provinces, and countries to also contribute to this urgent research”.

To contribute to this research, please visit https://dmrf.ca/about/our-stories/conquering-coronavirus/.

Thank you to Dr. David Kelvin, Dalhousie University, and the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation for making this episode possible. To learn more about Research Nova Scotia visit www.researchns.ca.

This episode was produced by Podstarter.

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