OpenSpecimen and COVID19

“According to Darwin’s Origin of Species, it is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.” – Leon C. Megginson

The pandemic has forced us humans, social creatures in happier days, to adapt to physical distancing. We in India are into its phase 2 of nationwide lockdown to enforce this. This has made us all adjust to a weird environment—one where demand is unpredictable, and supply is slammed. One where the government is omnipotent and omnipresent. 

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Even as the world was coming to terms with the 2008 global financial crisis, Rahm Emanuel—Barack Obama’s chief of staff at the time—said something that still holds true.

"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."
That is a good segway to talk about a number of our old and new clients working on COVID studies and use OpenSpecimen to manage the specimens.
Columbia University Biobank (read more)
Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, in partnership with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, has established a COVID-19 Biobank as a centralized resource to collect, store, and disseminate biological specimens and clinical data for researchers at Columbia University and elsewhere.

University of California Davis (read more)
The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Biorepository is managing specimens obtained from COVID-19 patients. These are all residual clinical specimens and include: heparinized plasma, EDTA whole blood, nasopharyngeal swab specimens stored in universal transport media. There may be some bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), tracheal aspirate, and serum specimens. Data will also be banked under a School of Medicine sponsored institutional review board (IRB) approved protocol and be accessible for investigators requesting access. 

University of Western Australia (read more)
The aim of our WA COVID-19 Research Collaboration efforts is to study and minimise the health and other consequences of COVID-19, as well as providing the infrastructure required to enable these efforts. We have established distinct streams of work that allow researchers from across WA to contribute to this endeavour, whether that be through data and relevant specimen capture, supporting existing clinical trials or initiating new clinical trials and studies to help mitigate the effects of the virus. 

University of Melbourne (read more)
The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity – a joint venture between the University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital – has been awarded AU$3.2 million (US$2.15 million) by the Jack Ma Foundation to expedite the creation of a vaccine against coronavirus (COVID-19).
Weill Cornell Medical Center (New York) (read more)
Weill Cornell Medicine recognises the gravity of the pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID19 disease. This infection reaches every aspect of our lives, and it has no borders. Our response at WCM, in the disease epicenter of New York City, will help define how our society changes for the better when the pandemic is over. Towards this WCMC Biorepository  has started collecting COVID biospecimens and using OpenSpecimen to manage the data.
Cambridge University (London) (read more)
Many labs in the Haematology department in CU are doing COVID related research. Krishagni has been providing priority support to ensure that the configuration of these studies and data collection is smooth and is done in a timely manner.
We are also in advanced talks with a couple of academic centers to help them accelerate their research by using OpenSpecimen.
 
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Hoping that this will pass soon, and our best wishes to you and your family during these tough times.

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