University of Wisconsin–Madison Established COVID19 Convalescent Biobank

In the spring of 2020, when instruction moved online and most research became remote, efforts picked up at the UW Carbone Cancer Center Translational Science Biocore BioBank. Researchers across campus began pivoting their studies to address the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. To do their research, they needed samples from patients.

To support COVID-19 research efforts on campus, Miriam Shelef, an immunologist at UW School of Medicine and Public Health started sending emails to see if anyone was banking specimens from patients recovering from the virus.

Shelef applied for and received a research grant from the Wisconsin Partnership Program’s COVID-19 Response Grant Program, designed to help the university and community organizations across Wisconsin address the immediate health challenges of COVID-19. With the grant, she established the COVID-19 Convalescent Biobank, a biorepository for blood samples from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19. These samples include serum, plasma, and immune cells.

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