SFU Science has launched "The Path Forward" COVID-19 Research Campaign in support of three world-class SFU Science researchers, Dr. Caroline Colijn, Dr. Peter Unrau and Dr. Rob Britton, raising $200,000 to allow them to expand their research teams by bringing into their labs some of the best and brightest graduate students and post-graduate researchers to support their work, fast-track projects, and accelerate discovery that will help us find a path forward from this COVID-19 pandemic.
Drs. Colijn, Unrau and Britton's research focuses on two key areas: (1) Data Modelling and (2) Rapid Detection Kits. Without immediate data and discovery in these two crucial areas, our communities will not have a clear path forward or a chance at a well-defined recovery plan. Your support toward "The Path Forward" Campaign will give our researchers the help they need so their research moves forward quickly, making an impact today.
Your gift to "The Path Forward" Campaign will help SFU Science researchers find a path forward in the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds raised will provide Drs Colijn, Unrau and Britton the ability to hire the best and brightest students in their field (graduate or post-doctoral)—a game changing move that will provide invaluable support for research to fight COVID-19. Join the fight—donate or share our story today.
All supporters will be invited to a special virtual Town Hall where Drs. Colijn, Unrau and Britton will talk about their work, research and experience as important members of the global scientific community fighting COVID-19.
Dr. Caroline Colijn is a SFU Department of Mathematics Professor and a Canada 150 Research Chair. In the face of COVD-19 her research on infectious disease modelling—using mathematical modelling to analyze the various regional approaches, and the impact these interventions have on the infection dynamic—is helping to guide our Province’s response to this pandemic. Her research is also helping to understand how transmission is taking place and how best to mitigate infections so we have a clear path forward. Without the work of Dr. Coljin and other infectious disease modelers, there would be no science—true mathematical data—behind what tactics we take to guide our public health recommendations.
Working in collaboration with the BC Centre for Disease Control and the Province of BC, Dr. Coljin’s data and modelling analysis is helping to shape Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s ongoing statistical updates and key messages to the Province. Her work is helping to support the Province to understand how and when to move forward and reopen safely and securely. Her lab research is providing the scientific footing for evidence-based best practices to operationalize both epidemiological and viral whole genome sequencing data so it can better guide public health practice and disease monitoring and management in BC. This important research will help arm our local Government and decision-makers with stronger scientific data to better manage and guide future responses to health crises that challenge our communities.
Funds raised will provide Dr. Colijn the ability to hire one of the best and brightest students in their field (graduate or post-doctoral) for one year—a game changing move that will provide invaluable support to advance her research in fighting COVID-19. This graduate or post-doctoral student will focus their time on probability modelling, working to support the combining of genetic information from the virus with that of epidemiological data as well as analysis to help understand the effects of policy changes to social distancing parameters that can be used to help guide a safe reopening of our communities.
*We look forward to inviting all of Dr. Coljin’s supporters to a special virtual Town Hall where she will talk about her work, research and experience as an important member of the global scientific community fighting COVID-19.
Dr. Rob Britton, SFU Department of Chemistry Professor and Dr. Peter Unrau, SFU Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Professor have joined forces to change the game in COVID-19 testing with the use of a new rapid detection technology.
Currently, without a vaccine, rapid, accurate and robust testing is key to controlling the initial outbreak and resurgence of COVID-19 both locally and globally. Currently, methods available for testing have severe limitations—they are slow, must be performed in a centralized lab, and utilizes complex and costly equipment, making them largely inaccessible for general, widespread usage. In response, Dr. Unrau developed a methodology called RNA Mango NASBA (Nucleic Acid Sequence Based Amplification), which allows for rapid, inexpensive and accessible detection of COVID-19. In essence, they created the foundation for what is a COVID-19 rapid detection kit that, once approved, would provide an inexpensive, easy-to-use and reliable tool to detect COVID-19 in an individual in a matter of minute’s versus days. Currently, the gap in moving this technology forward is the capacity needed to develop a negative control in the lab to test and prove reliability of RNA Mango NASBA—a large task that Drs. Britton and Unrau look to tackle together.
Funds raised will provide Drs. Britton and Unrau the ability to hire one of the best and brightest students in their field (graduate or post-doctoral) for one year—a game changing move that will provide invaluable support to advance their research in fighting COVID-19. This graduate or post-doctoral student will work directly in the lab to support the synthesis of molecules that will help increase the reliability, speed and robustness of RNA Mango NASBA.
*We look forward to inviting all of Drs. Britton and Unrau's supporters to a special virtual Town Hall where they will talk about their work, research and experience as an important member of the global scientific community fighting COVID-19.