Early COVID-19 research – the bedrock for scientific next steps

Guest Blog: Elizabeth Blackwell Institute Director Professor Rachael Gooberman-Hill

Blog 6 July 2020

EBI Director

Early COVID-19 research – the bedrock for scientific next steps

Research at Bristol has risen to the challenge of SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes, COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic, colleagues across the University have taken huge strides to use their expertise to move quickly on work that addresses the immediate and longer-term questions around the virus.

Here at the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute we’ve run a funding call to support research across all faculties and disciplines; designed to support research with as little bureaucracy as possible and maximum impact. We’ve supported over 60 projects in total in the space of three months, with around half of them in the UNCOVER group – an emergency research group at the University of Bristol set up specifically to tackle COVID-19.

Elizabeth Blackwell Institute funded COVID-19 research

The Elizabeth Blackwell Institute has been helping scientists to plant their seeds and it’s satisfying to watch them grow. The UNCOVER group’s work is high quality, and its success is down to the hard work of everyone involved, who have all worked fast and with massive efficiency. At the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute we’re going to learn from the streamlined research funding processes that we’ve been able to use over recent months.

Discoveries from UNCOVER are already being published so that the international research community can use it straight away. It’s making steps in important directions, particularly in our understanding of transmission, treatment and prevention of COVID-19. UNCOVER includes work here at Bristol and in partnership with others, and is underpinning proposals to major research funders. Some of the research completed already, just within a few months, is providing the bedrock for the next steps in the science.

I’ve been overawed from the start by the energy and commitment of Bristol’s staff in the research response to the pandemic, our thanks from all at the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for your hard work.

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