NJ ACTS Translating COVID-19 from Bench to Bedside



Health Care Worker COVID-19 Study

The Rutgers Corona Cohort Study

Developing a better and more complete understanding of the rates and risk factors for transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) remains an absolute priority. Because of the potential for exposure, differences exist between the rates of infection among Healthcare workers (HCW) as compared to Non-healthcare workers (NHCW). The long-term objective aims to protect the healthcare workforce caring for SARS-CoV-2-infected patients, their families, communities and the general population. To meet this aim, Drs. Reynold Panettieri, Jeffrey Carson, and Martin Blaser are leading a study, the Rutgers Corona Cohort Study, facilitated and implemented thanks to the expertise of the Biostatistics Core, the Clinical Trials Office and CRCs at RWJMS, NJMS and EOHSI, and the Biomarker Core. Read more about the Rutgers Corona Cohort Study.


Rutgers University scientists rule out asthma as a trigger for contracting COVID-19 or affecting its severity

Asthma does not appear to increase the risk for a person contracting Covid-19 or affect its severity, according to new research. The team from Rutgers University in the US found that people with asthma – even those with diminished lung function who are being treated to manage asthmatic inflammation – seem to be no worse affected by SARS-CoV-2 than a non-asthmatic person. “Older age and conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and obesity are reported risk factors for the development and progression of COVID-19,” said Reynold A. Panettieri Jr, a pulmonary critical care physician and director of the Rutgers Institute for Translational Medicine and Science. To read the full story.


Martin J. Blaser


Jeffery L. Carson


Reynold A. Panettieri

Tracking COVID-19 with a new app that assures user privacy

A team of Rutgers professors developed the COVID Nearby app to help monitor the spread of coronavirus with a guarantee of privacy to individuals reporting information. The app will also provide researchers with insights about the privacy preferences of individuals during health emergencies. To read the full story.


With eyes on reopening, some colleges turn to saliva coronavirus tests for students

With demand for coronavirus testing expected to rise even higher this fall as students return to campuses across the nation, some major universities are adding their names to the list of those turning to at-home test kits that look for the virus in a person’s saliva — a novel technique that’s raised hopes, and questions, when it comes to mass testing. To read the full story.



The Perfect Storm of Pandemics

Dr. Strom, chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) and the university’s executive vice president for health affairs, is a founder of the field of pharmacoepidemiology, which applies epidemiological methods to the study of drugs and their effectiveness within specific populations. He helped develop the International Clinical Epidemiology Network, responsible for fostering the establishment of epidemiology units in medical schools throughout the developing world. A leading expert in outbreaks like SARS, MERS, and seasonal influenza, he notes that the COVID-19 pandemic is unlike any he’s witnessed. As the United States struggles to contain the spread of COVID-19, Rutgers Magazine sought Strom’s insight into the pandemic and the pathogen responsible for it. To read the full story.


Rutgers-Newark Program Aids City’s Contact Tracing Efforts

Faculty, students, and alumni at the School of Arts & Sciences-Newark (SASN) have found many ways to be of service during the current Covid-19 pandemic, from 3D-printing masks for frontline healthcare workers to delivering food to the elderly and needy. Recently the Rutgers University-Newark (RU-N) community has found another way to contribute: by aiding the city of Newark’s contact-tracing efforts via its Lives in Translation Project (LiT). To read the full story.



Princeton faculty members receive grants for COVID-19 research from Digital Transformation Institute

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The Digital Transformation Institute has awarded $5.4 million to 26 projects to accelerate artificial intelligence research to mitigate COVID-19 and future pandemics. Princeton faculty members Matthew Desmond, Simon Levin, Stefana Parascho, H. Vincent Poor, Corina Tarnita and Mengdi Wang are among researchers to receive funding for their projects.

Princeton University is a member of the Digital Transformation Institute, a $367M research consortium dedicated to accelerating the benefits of artificial intelligence for business, government and society, founded by Chair and CEO Tom Siebel. DTI, jointly managed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and the University of California, Berkeley, and in partnership with Microsoft Corp., invited researchers in March to take on the challenge of abating COVID-19 and advancing AI-based science and technologies for mitigating future pandemics. Read the full article.


NJ Consortium Develops Mobile Medical Unit to Address Health Facility Shortage

prototypeIn response to the extreme challenges to clinical capacity posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, three New Jersey institutions – New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), University Hospital in Newark and The Tuchman Foundation – are collaborating in a unique partnership on the development of modular, mobile medical care facilities to be deployed to areas of surging disease outbreaks and other disasters, as well as to regions that lack health care infrastructure.The modules, constructed in Woodbridge, N.J., are fabricated from 40-foot-long repurposed shipping containers. They have been tested this week for their effectiveness as triage centers in a series of staged patient-care simulations conducted by medical personnel at University Hospital. Read the full article.

(Pictured Above: A prototype of the mobile medical unit at University Hospital in Newark.)