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QU takes proactive role in tackling Covid-19 | Qatar University

QU takes proactive role in tackling Covid-19

2020-06-14 00:00:00.0

As part of local and global efforts to counter the latest coronavirus (Covid-19), Qatar University is harnessing its resources and research expertise while also working alongside various leading institutions in the state.

The QU Emergency Response Grant (ERG) dealing with the current pandemic is part of an international research effort and aims at supporting rapid scientific research initiatives. QU’s ERG covers five research areas: basic molecular research, clinical research, social-behavioral research, infectious disease epidemiology and e-health. Due to the demand for innovative solutions, the Concept Development Grant - Emergency Response (CD-ER) was created specifically for the current global crisis, funded to enable the development of innovative prototypes, processes and innovative platforms.

Researchers from QU’s Biomedical Research Center (BRC) in collaboration with researchers within and outside the university are hard at work conducting numerous research studies on Covid-19. This includes “A detailed analysis of exported Covid-19 cases,” which was conducted in collaboration with QU’s College of Medicine and the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH). BRC also conducted the study “Using digital simulation technology to test the ability of some inhibitors to stop COVID-19 binding to its cellular receptors.” In addition, in collaboration with the College of Medicine and Hamad General Hospital, the BRC conducted a study on “ELISA serum screening test for Covid-19 and the development of a possible vaccine,” which aims to accelerate the development of a rapid internal serologic test to detect Covid-19.

In collaboration with the National Center for Cancer Care & Research (Al Amal Hospital), Hamad Medical Corporation, Hamad bin Khalifa University and further external parties, the College of Medicine is conducting a research project on the impact of the coronavirus on cancer patients, which will assist doctors in finding treatment for their patients. The College of Medicine is also working on developing a coronavirus detection kit, which is based on the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).

QU’s College of Engineering has a number of joint projects with Hamad Medical Corporation and Al-Ahli Hospital in the field of e-health. The college has developed a number of e-health initiatives including an online platform that monitors the local and global spread of the virus and infection rates. They have also developed an electronic system for predicting hotspots for infectious diseases, a Twitter-based investigation system, and a blood oxidation device simulation to train medical staff. The college was also involved in a local partnership with Hamad Hospital to amend a dynamic ventilator system, allowing the system to share the entrance and exit of air with more than one patient safely.

In March, QU’s Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI) issued a survey that measured the awareness of Qataris and resident expatriates in relation to Covid-19 and their concern about the pandemics possible impacts. The survey aimed to be a tool in supporting various stakeholders in the country when planning precautionary measures to mitigate the pandemic effects.

Qatar University initially responded to the pandemic by applying remote learning and work from home, for safe and easy communication. The University remains committed to the precautionary decisions of the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management. Through its research centers and colleges, prestigious faculty and steadfast commitment to intellectual output and scientific research, QU applies the highest standards of prevention and safety for the community.