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Conquering COVID-19

UC College of Medicine and UC Health fight the coronavirus through innovative research

Researchers at UC are doing what they do best in the face of this pandemic: discovering solutions. 

Below are some of the ways in which UC and UC Health researchers are making strides to overcome COVID-19 through novel programs, innovative research and collaborative teams. 

"I'd be shocked if we don't have a major contribution to make here for the national and international community," says Dr. Brett Kissela, Albert Barnes Voorheis chair and professor of the UC Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine, senior associate dean for clinical research at the UC College of Medicine and UC Health physician.

Creation of an app that tracks the coronavirus

student looking at a laptop

The COVID-19 Watcher helps track cases of the novel coronavirus in Cincinnati and beyond. Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand.

Two University of Cincinnati students have developed an interactive dashboard which shows COVID-19 cases and deaths in Greater Cincinnati and other major U.S. cities. Known as the COVID-19 Watcher, it joins a list of options available to the public to track the novel coronavirus. Benjamin Wissel, a student in the UC College of Medicine’s Medical Scientist Training Program, and Pieter-Jan Van Camp, MD, a doctoral student in the Biomedical Informatics Graduate program, published research on their dashboard recently in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.  

Read the full story.

COVID-19 and the brain

Photo/Unsplash

A study by University of Cincinnati researchers and three Italian institutions reviewing neuroimaging and neurological symptoms in patients with COVID-19 may shed light on the virus’s impact on the central nervous system. The findings, published in the journal Radiology, reveal that altered mental status and stroke are the most common neurological symptoms in COVID-19 patients, which authors say could help physicians notice “red flags” earlier.

Read the full story.

Published research on COVID-19 and heart conditions

Richard Becker with his colleague in the lab

Richard Becker, MD, (center) shown with colleague. Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand.

Richard Becker, MD, director of the UC Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute, published research about COVID-19 associated coagulopathy in the Journal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis. He discussed his findings and the impact COVID-19 is having on the lungs and cardiovascular system in several media interviews.  

Read more about the media coverage.

Studying how COVID-19 affects the heart

Sakthivel Sadayappan by a microscope in the lab

Sakthivel Sadayappan, PhD, is studying how COVID-19 can impact the function of the heart. Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

Researchers are finding about half of all patients with COVID-19 admitted to an intensive care unit have heart damage. The troubling trend is why a team of UC researchers is using a $50,000 grant from the UC College of Medicine to understand how the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the pathogen of COVID-19, impacts heart cells. Sakthivel Sadayappan, the grant’s principal investigator, Dr. Richard Becker and Dr. Donald Lynch are leading this effort.

Read the full story.

By the third day, most with COVID-19 lose sense of smell

woman wearing mask

Photo/Unsplash

A University of Cincinnati researcher says a study of COVID-19 patients shows loss of the sense of smell is most likely to occur by the third day of infection with the virus. Most of these patients also experience a loss of the sense of taste. Dr. Ahmad Sedaghat, an associate professor in the UC College of Medicine’s Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and UC Health physician, published these findings in the scholarly journal Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Read the full story.

Finding ways to help patients with cancer, COVID-19 - and both

Trisha Wise-Draper examining a patient

Dr. Trisha-Wise Draper is leading two clinical trials examining ways to study and help patients with cancer and COVID-19. Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

The UC Cancer Center is joining a consortium of 100 cancer centers and other organizations to collect data about patients with cancer who have been infected with COVID-19 and to make available information about this especially vulnerable population. The UC center is also participating in another study, using blood samples from patients with cancer taken from the UC COVID-19 biorepository, to examine how certain therapies may impact outcomes for patients with COVID-19 and those with both cancer and the coronavirus.

Read the full story.

Providing guidelines to treat stroke during the pandemic

Aaron Grossman performing a surgical procedure

Dr. Aaron Grossman and Dr. Matthew Smith co-authored a paper in the journal Stroke which provided guidelines on treating patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo/Tommy Campbell/UC Health

UC stroke researchers released a new report, published in the journal Stroke,  recommending the proper protocol for delivering lifesaving treatment to stroke patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. The paper is timely as more data emerges that patients with COVID-19, even young, otherwise healthy patients, are experiencing strokes. 

Read the full story.

Providing COVID-19 specimens for research

colorful test tubes

Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and UC Health are collecting specimens from COVID-19 patients to be stored as part of the Cincinnati COVID-19 Repository effort. The specimens will be used by researchers to learn more about COVID-19 and possible treatments and preventions for not only this disease but possibly diseases of the future. This effort also includes Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the Cincinnati Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital Medical Center. 

Read the full story. 

Researching how COVID-19 impacts the liver

photo of Kenneth Sherman

Dr. Kenneth Sherman is studying how COVID-19 could impact the liver. Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

An attack on the respiratory system causing severe cough and shortness of breath is what many of us associate with the worst effects of COVID-19. But a University of Cincinnati and UC Health researcher says damage to the liver is also an area that needs more study. About 50% of COVID-19 patients in China and Italy saw inflammation of the liver, a characteristic of hepatitis.

Read the full story.

Hosting over 30 clinical trials to study new treatments

COVID-19 vials

Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

The UC College of Medicine and UC Health are moving forward with a number of clinical trials to examine potential treatments for COVID-19. Currently, they are considering over 30 projects to determine the best course of action for patients. Dr. Brett Kissela says the clinical trial approval process is being expedited because of the urgent need to find treatments.

Read the full story.

Celebrating the first plasma donors

plasma in a bag with donor in the background

Photo/Hoxworth Blood Center

On Friday, April 17, two recovered COVID-19 patients in the Cincinnati area rolled up their sleeves to help in the fight against the coronavirus. Mohammed Alagha and Dr. Robert Ernst, a UC College of Medicine faculty member and UC Health physician, were the first two individuals to donate convalescent plasma that could help the most critical COVID-19 patients in the Tristate area.

Read the full story.

Awarding funds for novel COVID-19 studies

gloved hands doing lab research

Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

Understanding that time was of the essence in combating COVID-19, UC and its College of Medicine’s Office of Research conducted a rapid review and distribution of $425,000 in novel pilot grants to researchers, focusing on eradicating the disease. The Special Coronavirus (COVID-19) Research Pilot Grant Program was established to quickly support the development of innovative studies to contribute to knowledge of the virus’ genetic makeup and progression and how it affects various populations. 

Read the full story.

Opening the first protocol, alongside the Mayo clinic, to find a treatment

bags of donated blood

Photo/Hoxworth Blood Center

The UC College of Medicine and UC Health are following a research protocol from the Mayo Clinic to take “convalescent plasma,” or plasma obtained from those who have recovered from the virus, and administer it to the sickest patients with COVID-19.

Read the full story.

Your nose might know: How COVID-19 could impact sense of smell

portrait of Ahmad Sedaghat

Dr. Ahmad Sedaghat published research showing that a loss of smell could mean a COVID-19 infection. Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

A University of Cincinnati ear, nose and throat specialist says your nose may hold a clue in identifying COVID-19. The loss of smell may be a key indicator. Dr. Ahmad Sedaghat, an associate professor in the UC College of Medicine’s Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and UC Health physician, published these findings in the scholarly journal Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology.

Read the full story.

Worldwide media look to UC experts on coronavirus

Graphic of COVID-19

As the spread of the coronavirus continues around the world, local, national and international media outlets are turning to experts from UC to help them cover the story.

Read the full story

Impact Lives Here

The University of Cincinnati is leading public urban universities into a new era of innovation and impact. Our faculty, staff and students are saving lives, changing outcomes and bending the future in our city's direction. Next Lives Here.

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