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In July 2020, the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory allocated $29M in funding for COVID-19 research projects across the University System that are intended to provide new data and information to state lawmakers and policy-makers to help guide the state’s response to the pandemic.  UNC Chapel Hill received funding for 40 projects.  The eight listed below are led by faculty in the School of Medicine and a full list of all the projects can be found here.  Please visit this site periodically for updates on the progress of each of the projects which are expected to significantly impact the understanding of COVID-19 biology, surveillance, and treatment.

Convalescent Plasma Trial
Lead Researcher: Luther Bartelt

Budget: $1,615,000
This study seeks to understand how COVID-19 positive antibodies in plasma could be used for donation resulting in disease and death prevention.

Therapeutics I: Transitioning/Optimizing New Drugs for Pulmonary Delivery
Lead Researcher: Richard Boucher

Budget: $607,190
This study is to accelerate drug development for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 through delivering pulmonary antiviral aerosol compounds to the system.

Therapeutics II: Preclinical Studies of Novel Therapeutic Agents in Mouse Models for Target/Drug Validation, Pharmacokinetic Studies, and Efficacy Using Mouse-Adapted SARS-COV-2 Virus
Lead Researcher: Richard Boucher
Budget: $781,078
This study will create an in vivo mouse facility to test therapies to treat both phases of COVID-19 disease.

A Vaccine Against COVID-19 that Strongly Induces Three Branches of Immunity
Lead Researcher: Jenny Ting

Budget: $342,411
This study seeks to develop a vaccine outside of the typical methods implemented to achieve higher efficiency.

BRAVE: Respiratory Virus Tracking (including SARS-COV2) in NC
Lead Researcher: Dirk Dittmer

Budget: $717,300
The goal of this study is to enroll every patient in UNC hospitals with flu or respiratory symptoms for SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing.

Vector or Victim: SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Healthcare Workers and Their Household Contacts at the UNC Medical Center
Lead Researcher: Ross Boyce

Budget: $315,000
This study will quantify the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infections among healthcare workers and determine how these individuals may contribute to the spread within hospital and community transmission.

Two additional Projects led by Nat Moorman and Mark Heise are part of the multidisciplinary READDI project listed below:

Rapidly Emerging Antiviral Drug Discovery Initiative (READDI)
Lead Researchers: Ralph Baric

Budget: $1,499,992
This study is designed to develop antiviral drugs for COVID-19.