Health GRP- funded projects 2020
ApoE genotype, hyper-inflammation and severe disease in COVID-19 patients
PI: Dimitris Grammatopoulos - WMS
Pre-existing neurological conditions such as dementia are a major risk factor for disease severity and outcomes in COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with a wide variety of neurological manifestations. This project is examining various genetic and serological markers in a large cohort of samples from COVID-19 patients.
Mapping the cytokine storm and disease outcomes in COVID-19 patients
PI: Dimitris Grammatopoulos, Lawrence Young – WMS; Giovanni Montana - WMG
Biochemical indices are key for development of AI-tools to predict severity of complications and outcomes in COVID-19 patients as well as long term sequelae. This project is examining serum biomarkers and chest x-ray data to develop predictive algorithms for improving patient management.
Virtual flavour as a test for COVID-19
PI: Alan Chalmers - WMG
The loss of taste and smell is a common symptom of COVID-19 but little is known about how and when this loss is affected by virus infection and whether this symptom could be used for more effective and inexpensive testing. This study uses virtual flavour testing technology developed by WMG in a pilot study of healthcare workers in Peru.
Health Workers application of Oxygen Therapy during COVID-19
PI: Usman Talat - Warwick Business School
There are concerns that oxygen therapy in COVID-19 patients has not been delivered optimally and that errors in the prescribing of oxygen may have impacted clinical outcomes. This collaborative project with colleagues at the University of Birmingham aims to describe staff, patient and environment level factors that predict oxygen therapy and guide its cots-effective application.
How do Coronavirus proteins nsp3, nsp4 and nsp6 shape small membrane vesicles used to multiply in cells?
PI: Ann Dixon – Department of Chemistry; Darius Koester – WMS
To develop effective COVID-19 treatment and prevention strategies, a better understanding of principle mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 infection and replication within host cells is crucial. This study focusses on a set of virus-encoded non-structural proteins (nsp3, nsp4 and nsp6) and how they contribute to the formation of vesicles within infected cells that promote virus replication.
The effect of COVID-19 outbreak on vulnerable children with Education, Health and Care Plans and their families in England
PI: Olympia Palikara - Centre for Education Studies
The impact of the pandemic on children’s schooling and their social gatherings is particularly challenging for vulnerable children including those with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans and their families. This project will survey a sample of 1000 families examining the effects of school closures and lockdown on these children’s mental health as well as social and educational outcomes.
Stay Home and Stay Active? The impact of social distancing and stay-at-home restrictions on physical activity behaviour
PI: Mark Elliott - Institute of Digital Healthcare, WMG.
While the “Stay At Home” restrictions have been necessary to tackle the spread of coronavirus, it is highly likely that such restrictions will substantially reduce levels of physical activity and could subsequently impact mental and physical wellbeing over time. This study will track and analyse how physical activity levels and wellbeing have changed over the duration of the restrictions and determine how different demographic groups and geographic areas are impacted.
Monitoring of local SARS-CoV-2 infections through genomics-based surveillance
PI: Chrystala Constantinidou, Meera Unnikrishnan, Dimitris Grammatopoulos, Sascha Ott, Lawrence Young – WMS; Neil Anderson - UHCW
In response to the current global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic the diagnostic Pathology laboratories at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) established a testing centre for screening local hospital patients and staff; testing was later extended to care-home residents and staff. This project aims to sequence the SARS-CoV-2 virus genome in these samples to: (1) understand local incidents and outbreaks with greater granularity and support the response and containment of future outbreaks, and (2) contribute to the national database for SARS-CoV-2 sequences established by the UK COVID genomics consortium (UK-COG).
The social and healthcare impact of COVID-19 in low-resource settings: a case study in Benin
PI: Alessia Maccaro, Leandro Pecchia - School of Engineering
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in low resource settings is difficult to assess due to the lack of adequate testing resources and poor access to clinical data.This project aims to investigate the impact of the pandemic had in Benin (Sub-Saharan, West Africa) from both a social and healthcare perspective.
Warwick RECOVERS: Responding to COVID by Enhancing Resilience in Students
PI: Nicole Tang - Department of Psychology
Globally, mental health and wellbeing have been directly and indirectly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The RECOVERS project investigates how Warwick students have been coping with the pandemic and its impact on their studies and daily lives.
Other COVID-19 projects from Health GRP members
Novel diagnostics for SARS-CoV-2 detection
PI: Dr Nicole Robb - WMS
Nicole Robb and colleagues have developed an extremely rapid diagnostic test that detects and identifies viruses in less than five minutes. The test uses artificial intelligence to distinguish between microscope images of fluorescent viruses in throat swab samples.
PI: Professor Matt Gibson – Department of Chemistry
Working in collaboration with Iceni Diagnostics, Matt Gibson and his team have used their expertise in glycobiology to develop a lateral flow device that uses sialic acids to bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. This work which has recently been published (ACS Central Science) is now been further developed as a rapid and low cost method for mass screening.
PI: Dr Jerome Charmet – WMG in collaboration with UHCW, Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Plymouth, and various companies
This project uses functionalised graphene to bind SARS-CoV-2 from swab or saliva samples and an integrated biosensor technology to detect bound virus.
PI: Professor James Covington – School of Engineering
With long-standing expertise in the detection of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), James Covington and colleagues are developing breathe analysis for COVID-19.
Post-mortem of COVID-19 patients: searching for molecular clues of the disease
PI: Professor David Snead and Dr Hesham El-Daly – UHCW/WMS; Professor Lawrence Young and Professor Dimitris Grammatopoulos – WMS
Post-mortem samples of different tissues have been stored for detailed analysis of the pathology of COVID-19. These studies include examination of SARS-CoV-2 infection using different techniques.
Development of a SARS-CoV-2 spike protein binding assay using human epithelial cells for COVID-19 therapy discovery and development
PI: Professor Lawrence Young and Professor Dimitris Grammatopoulos – WMS; Celentyx Ltd, Birmingham; various colleagues from the University of Birmingham.
This is an Innovate UK funded projectwhich aims to develop assays that will enable the screening and development of compounds and biologicals that interfere with SARS-CoV-2 spike protein binding to human primary cells and cell lines by establishing a high-throughput confocal microscopy assay.