Research

Grant arms UNC-Chapel Hill with technology to accelerate COVID-19 research

A game-changing grant in a global pandemic

A game-changing grant in a global pandemic

The Chan Zuckerberg InitiativeOpens in new window recently awarded a $433,000 grant to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) for laboratory equipment that will accelerate research to address the COVID-19Opens in new window pandemic, potentially saving lives. The equipment will go to the lab of Ralph BaricOpens in new window, PhD, the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of epidemiology at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public HealthOpens in new window. Researchers in the Baric Lab are on the forefront of developing COVID-19 treatmentsOpens in new window. This grant represents a new collaboration between the West Coast philanthropic organization CZI and UNC-CH in search of a global solution to the pandemic.

The grant covers the purchase of a “liquid handler” — a robotic arm that can pipette fluids much more quickly and accurately than humans can — and supporting instruments, including another robot that detects active virus particles in samples and a machine to sequence RNA. Together, these tools increase the rate of testing compounds by 20-fold.

Ramping up testing speeds development of effective treatment. When dealing with rapidly spreading disease, Baric noted, that speed saves lives.

“This wonderful example of philanthropy in the midst of an expanding pandemic demonstrates the importance of getting people involved at all levels,” said Baric. “It’s a global pandemic that has touched us all, and CZI is giving back to global communities. I thank them deeply and hope they continue to support both basic and applied research into COVID-19. Not only is the research team benefitting from this gift directly, but we’ve been able to collaborate with others that CZI has supported. For us, it’s a true game changer.”

Read the complete Carolina Story…Opens in new window

UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health Funding Priorities

Readers Also Viewed...

Body Mass Index CHart
Research

Connection Between Health Crises

Obesity linked with higher risk for COVID-19 complications

Volunteers delivering food in a drive-through line.
Community

Creating a One-Stop Food Hub

Connecting communities with access to local food during the COVID-19 pandemic

Health

The Importance of Face Masks

Limiting the transmission of COVID-19

Community

Emergency Preparedness, Ethics and Equity Speaker Series

Fostering inclusive excellence during turbulent times

Ralph Baric
Research

Remdesivir proves effective

“Game-Changer” treatment for patients with COVID-19

Health

Monitoring asymptomatic COVID-19 cases

Partnering with state and local agencies to assess COVID-19 prevalence