Dundee University has been awarded almost £500,000 to help the country in the fight against Covid-19.
Research initiatives at the university’s school of life sciences and school of medicine will help identify those most vulnerable to severe symptoms of coronavirus and establish what happens to those recovering from the illness.
The projects have received money as part of a £5 million round of funding announced by the Scottish Government to further understanding of Covid-19, screen potential treatments and support clinical trials.
The school of life sciences has been awarded £294,000 and the school of medicine has been given £194,000 for their respective projects.
Doreen Cantrell, professor of cellular immunology at the university, said: “Our research has been established to respond to a clinical need for tests that can predict early in Covid-19 infection which patients are at risk of worsening and needing intensive care treatment.
“Dundee has a world-leading centre for mass spectrometry that allows precise quantitative analysis for the many thousands of proteins in white blood cells.
“Our work will bring together immunologists and mass spectrometry proteomics experts to work with James Chalmers, a leading respiratory disease physician at Ninewells Hospital, to monitor the blood of people infected with Covid-19 and hopefully identify new diagnostic tools.
“We also hope that this work will allow us to identify new drug targets for the treatment of the acute respiratory complications associated with severe Covid-19 infections.”
Dr David Connell, an honorary lecturer with the university’s school of medicine and a consultant physician in respiratory medicine with NHS Tayside said: “For many people, particularly those who have been unwell and been in high dependency or intensive care, survival from Covid-19 is the start of a long recovery.
“With colleagues across Scotland, our work will follow these patients over time to see what happens to their health, particularly their lungs, to understand what the longer term effects of having Covid-19 might be.”
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