Funding News: COVID-19 research projects supported by AMOSO Innovation Funds

New rapid grants through the AMOSO Innovation Fund are enabling researchers at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry to explore important COVID-19 research projects. The funding will help support studies from improving diagnostic and epidemiologic detection of the virus, to understanding the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare workers in Ontario.

The funding will allow Dr. Jim Lewis and his team to test whether administration of a surfactant into the lungs at the time of intubation in patients with COVID-19 will improve outcomes.

Surfactant treatment is routine in pre-term babies who are born too early. During the past three decades, Dr. Lewis, Professor in the Department of Medicine, and his team have been researching the role that this surfactant could play for adults whose surfactant system is damaged by a disease called Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.

“This disorder is similar to the lung injury caused by the COVID virus, so we feel that the surfactant treatment could also significantly improve the outcome of COVID patients who are critically ill and require ventilator support,” said Dr. Lewis. “We have been researching this for 30 years and now it seems we are in the right place at the right time to help these patients.”

In a total of six projects were funded at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry totalling more than $396,000.

“I am proud to see the high level of research being done by our faculty,” said Dr. Cindy Hutnik, Chair of the AMOSO Governing Committee.

Congratulations to the recipients of the COVID19 Research Grants funded through the AHSC AFP Innovation Fund:

The Impact of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak on Physicians in Ontario - Dr. Amit Garg, Department of Medicine

Improving diagnostic and epidemiologic detection of SARS-CoV-2; A Validation Study - Dr. Alejandro Lazo-Langner, Department of Medicine

Exogenous Surfactant Administration for Patients with COVID-19: the LESSCOVID trial (the London Exogenous Surfactant Study for COVI19) - Dr. Jim Lewis, Department of Medicine

Healthcare Worker seroprevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies - Dr. Michael Silverman, Department of Medicine

Rapid Identification of Therapeutic Targets to Optimize Care of Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients - Dr. Douglas Fraser, Department of Paediatrics

Hypercoagulation in SARS-CoV-2 infection – Conventional Coagulation Testing versus Point of Care Thromboelastography - Dr. Anton Skaro & Dr. Mayur Brahmania, Departments of Surgery and Medicine

The AMOSO Innovation Fund Sub-Committee is encouraging those not selected for this urgent COVID-19 funding to consider applying for the 2020-21 AHSC Innovation Fund Call for Proposals (due on October 31, 2020), when there will be over 2 million dollars available.