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COVID-19 Research Response Program

Background: Johns Hopkins University has quickly mobilized to create a comprehensive response integrating dozens of fields of expertise to find solutions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The disease caused by this coronavirus has a spectrum of effects in different patients, and we have deployed all of our systems, structures and expertise to identify these subgroups. In mid-March, nine critical research areas were identified to contribute to high impact initiatives with immediate and intermediate time scales.

The university’s divisional research leadership selected leaders to serve as key conveners for each research program area. These leaders assembled interdisciplinary teams – from computational experts to cell biologists to clinicians – to achieve ambitious goals. The team leaders are serving as liaisons to university leadership, identifying ways to support investigators and minimize any barriers during this critical time. The institution also established the COVID-19 Johns Hopkins Clinical Research Coordinating Committee to review and prioritize all COVID-19 clinical research. This streamlined resource includes an Emergency Response IRB and the development of a biospecimen repository.

Funding: To date, $6 million in university funding has been redirected to support approximately 260 scientists and researchers working on these 25 projects. These projects are providing the framework and resources – including data, assays and samples – necessary to enable further COVID-19 research at JHU.

The projects are distinct but all are focused on immediately mitigating this pandemic to save lives.

Need Help? Please email if you are a researcher interested in understanding the landscape of COVID-19 research at JHU, need assistance locating resources, or would like to be added to the funding opportunities weekly listserv. See funding opportunities specific to COVID-19 here.

  • Community Research

    Team Leaders: Shruti Mehta (Public Health), Jason Farley (Nursing), Jacky Jennings (Medicine)

    • Project:
      • Community Collaboration to Combat Coronavirus (C4-Ward), PIs: Shruti Mehta (Public Health), Jason Farley (Nursing), Jacky Jennings (Medicine)
      • Pandemic Pulse – Surveys to Monitor Adoption of Preventive Behaviors, Testing and Misinformation: Shruti Mehta (Public Health), Jason Farley (Nursing), Jacky Jennings (Medicine)
  • Diagnostics

    Team Leaders: Garry Cutting (Medicine), Sharon Gerecht (Engineering)

    • Projects:
      • Adapting Commercial  Glucose  Sensors  to  Population-Scale  Measurement  of  Covid-19  Antibodies, PIs: Netz Arroyo (Medicine), Jamie Spangler (Medicine/Engineering), Taekjip Ha (Medicine/Arts & Sciences/Engineering)
      • Taking Serology to Scale: Oral Fluid Antibody Assays for Diagnosis, Surveillance, and Prevention of SARS-CoV-2 Infection, PI: Chris Heaney (Public Health)
  • Further Initiatives


    • Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19 (MHC19), PI: Mark Dredze
    • Epigenetic Predictors of COVID‐19 Severity, PI: Andrew Feinberg
    • COVID-19 PPE  Manufacturing: Consortium for 3D-Printed Headbands for Face Shields, PIs: Elizabeth Logsdon (Engineering),Warren Grayson (Medicine)
  • Health Care Worker Protection

    Team Leaders: Allen Kachalia (Medicine), Richard Rothman (Medicine), Tener Veenema (Nursing), Kathy McDonald (Nursing/Medicine)

    • Projects:
      • Front Line ED Health Care Workers (HCWs) at Johns Hopkins Hospital During COVID-19: Disease Incidence, Correlates, and Biologic Markers, PI: Richard Rothman (Medicine)
      • Mental Health and Social Support for Health Care Workers Serving COVID-19 Patients, PIs: Tener Veneema (Nursing), Svea Closser (Public Health), Johannes Thrul (Public Health)
      • Improving HCW Safety through Appropriate PPE Use During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Human Factors Engineering (HFE) and Implementation Science Approach, PIs: Ayse P Gurses (Medicine), Tener Veneema (Nursing), Kathy McDonald (Nursing/Medicine)
  • Host Pathogenesis

    Team Leaders: Priya Duggal (Public Health), David Kass (Medicine), Chirag Parikh (Medicine)

    • Projects:
      • The Impact of Sex on Transcriptional and Genomic Signatures in COVID-19 Infection, PI: Eileen Scully (Medicine)
      • Immune-Viral Landscape in COVID-19 Pneumonia-ARDS: IVAR Study, PI: Franco D’Alessio (Medicine)
      • Genetic Epidemiology of Host Response to COVID-19, PI: Priya Duggal (Public Health)
      • Contribution of Acute Kidney Injury in the Progression of SARS-CoV-2 Infection, PI: Chirag Parikh (Medicine)
      • Pathogenesis of Cardiac Inflammation During COVID-19 Infection, PIs: Daniela Cihakova (Medicine), Nisha Gilotra (Medicine), Allison Hays (Medicine)
  • Medical Supply Innovation

    Team Leaders: Nicholas Durr (Engineering), Alan Ravitz (Applied Physics Laboratory), Youseph Yazdi (Engineering)

    • Projects:
      • JHU Innovation Initiative: Addressing Critical Material and Personnel Resource Preservation Challenges Resulting from the COVID-19 Crisis – Professional Track, PI: Alan Ravitz (Applied Physics Laboratory)
      • JHU Innovation Initiative: Addressing Critical Material and Personnel Resource Preservation Challenges Resulting from the COVID-19 Crisis – Student-Focused COVID-19 Design Challenge, PIs: Youseph Yazdi (Engineering), Nicholas Durr (Engineering)
  • Modeling and Policy

    Team Leaders: Kate Grabowski (Medicine), David Peters (Public Health), Dan Polsky (Business/Public Health)

    • Projects:
      • Modeling & Policy Hub: Creation of a Modeling Request Management System and Coordination of Modeling and Policy Efforts Throughout the Institution, Hub Manager: Kara Hunersen (Public Health)
      • Scenario planning to model effects of social distancing and other public health policies, PI: Justin Lessler (Public Health)
      • Health and Economic Outcomes of COVID-19, including role of public policy interventions, PIs: Alessandro Rebucci and Emilia Simeonova (Business)
      • Transparency, Reproducibility, and Validation of COVID-19 Projection Models, PI: Nilanjan Chatterjee (Public Health/Medicine)
      • Hopkins COVID-19 Civic Life and Public Health Survey, PIs: Colleen Barry (Public Health), Hahrie Han (Arts & Sciences), Beth McGinty (Public Health)
  • Therapeutics

    Team Leaders: Paul Auwaerter (Medicine), Mark Sulkowski (Medicine)

    • Projects:
      • COVID-19 Preclinical Novel Therapeutic Drug Working Group and Pilot Projects, PIs: Paul Auwaerter and Mark Sulkowski (Medicine)
      • COVID-19 Clinical Research Core to Support the Rapid Implementation of Human Trials to Investigate Approaches for the Prevention of SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Treatment of Patients With COVID-19 In Ambulatory and Hospital Settings, PIs: Paul Auwaerter and Mark Sulkowski (Medicine)
      • National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project, PI: Arturo Casadevall (Public Health/Medicine)
    • Read about Current Active Therapeutic Protocols for COVID-19 here.
  • Viral Genetics

    Team Leaders: Stuart Ray (Medicine), Winston Timp (Engineering)

    • Project:
      • Rapid Sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 to enable Epidemiologic Surveillance, Clinical Insight and Pathobiology, PIs: Stuart Ray (Medicine), Winston Timp (Engineering)
  • Viral Immunopathogenesis

    Team Leaders: Justin Bailey (Medicine), Diane Griffin (Public Health), Ben Larman (Medicine), Andy Pekosz (Public Health)

    • Projects:
      • Innate Immune Responses Associated with CoVID-19 Resolution or Severe CoVID-19 Disease, PI: Andrea Cox (Medicine)
      • B cell and Antibody Responses Associated with CoVID-19 Resolution or Severe CoVID-19 Disease, PIs: Diane Griffin (Medicine), Justin Bailey (Medicine), Andy Pekosz (Medicine)
      • T cell Responses Associated with COVID-19 Resolution or Severe COVID-19 Disease, PI: Andrea Cox (Medicine)
  • Contact

    Vice Provost for Research

    265 Garland Hall
    3400 North Charles Street
    Baltimore, MD 21218

    (443) 927-1957

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