COVID-19 Disrupts Important Research Projects, Shutters Labs Indefinitely

Survey reveals wide-ranging adverse impact of COVID-19 on research
American Physiological Society (APS)

Newswise — Rockville, Md. (August 6, 2020)—As COVID-19 —the disease caused by the novel coronavirus— has sickened millions and killed more than 155,000 people in the U.S., the virus has also halted critical physiological research and shuttered labs across the nation. This according to nearly 100 researchers who responded to an informal poll conducted by the American Physiological Society (APS). Survey respondents reported furloughs, layoffs and delays in research completion. The immediate fallout is vast, and the effects could be long-lasting. 

Fifty-eight percent of trainee respondents said lab closures due to COVID-19 may increase the time it takes them to complete their training. Forty-five percent of respondents reported setbacks in long-term, time-sensitive experiments or loss of specialized research resources.

“Due to the immediate shutdown of the lab, we were forced to abandon time-sensitive animal experiments in which we had already invested a number of months in data acquisition and interventions,” said one researcher. “We will need to restart these experiments, but are unsure of how this work will be funded.”

Among other findings:

  • 28% of faculty-level researchers have experienced furloughs or salary reductions.
  • 60% of researchers have experienced delays in recruiting new students, staff and postdoctoral researchers due to closures and hiring freezes.
  • 82% of faculty-level researchers believe that coronavirus-related closures will negatively impact their ability to apply for grants and maintain continuous funding.

The survey was led by Rebecca Osthus, PhD, associate director of government relations and science policy at APS. Osthus said the survey was conducted “so that we could hear directly from our members about how COVID-19 has disrupted biomedical research. We wanted to know what challenges they are facing and what they need to recover and get their research back on track. We plan to share this information with Congress as we advocate for additional funding and with federal agencies that are trying to respond to the needs of the research community.”

Learn more about the survey at Find more coverage on how COVID-19 is affecting the biomedical research community, including the ripple effects of nationwide lab closures, in the July issue of The Physiologist Magazine.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: To schedule an interview, please contact the APS Communications Office or call 301.634.7314. Find more research highlights in our News Room.

Physiology is a broad area of scientific inquiry that focuses on how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. The American Physiological Society connects a global, multidisciplinary community of more than 10,000 biomedical scientists and educators as part of its mission to advance scientific discovery, understand life and improve health. The Society drives collaboration and spotlights scientific discoveries through its 16 scholarly journals and programming that support researchers and educators in their work.


Filters close

Showing results

110 of 3409
Newswise: Last-resort life support option helped majority of critically ill COVID-19 patients survive, global study shows
24-Sep-2020 3:20 PM EDT
Last-resort life support option helped majority of critically ill COVID-19 patients survive, global study shows
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

It saved lives in past epidemics of lung-damaging viruses. Now, the life-support option known as ECMO appears to be doing the same for many of the critically ill COVID-19 patients who receive it. Patients in a new international study faced a staggeringly high risk of death, as ventilators failed to support their lungs. But after they were placed on ECMO, their actual death rate was less than 40%.

Released: 25-Sep-2020 5:05 PM EDT
Case Western Reserve University researchers to examine how COVID-19 ravaged America’s nursing homes
Case Western Reserve University

Within a few months, federal officials reported that one of every five nursing homes had experienced a death from the novel coronavirus. Not long after, several media outlets published independent analysis finding that an estimated 40% of the fatalities related to COVID-19 took place in nursing homes. Rather than surrender to the terrifying trend, Case Western Reserve researchers saw an opportunity to help.

Released: 25-Sep-2020 4:15 PM EDT
Faced with pandemic shortages, researchers combine heat and humidity to disinfect N95 masks for reuse
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

They found that gently heating N95 masks in high relative humidity could inactivate SARS-CoV-2 virus trapped within the masks, without degrading the masks’ performance.

Released: 25-Sep-2020 3:30 PM EDT
Team assessing if dual-antibody injection prevents COVID-19 illness
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

A combination antibody treatment for preventing COVID-19 illness in individuals who have had sustained exposure to someone with the virus is being studied by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). The clinical trial is enrolling patients at Harris Health System’s Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital.

Released: 25-Sep-2020 2:30 PM EDT
Yes, Wisconsin Republicans have the power to overturn the extended mask mandate order by Governor Evers

Republicans have the legal power to reverse the order by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers that extends the mask mandate.

Released: 25-Sep-2020 1:55 PM EDT
How do Americans view the virus? Anthropology professor examines attitudes of COVID
Northern Arizona University

In her ongoing research about Americans' responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, Northern Arizona University anthropology professor Lisa Hardy and her collaborators have talked to dozens of people.

Released: 25-Sep-2020 12:55 PM EDT
During pandemic, racism puts additional stress on Asian Americans
Massachusetts General Hospital

Many people are feeling anxious during these uncertain times as they navigate the risks associated with COVID-19 and experience the tension from physical distancing or isolation for what can seem like an eternity.

Released: 25-Sep-2020 12:55 PM EDT
COVID-19 shapes political approval ratings
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Approval ratings of political leaders surged in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Released: 25-Sep-2020 12:40 PM EDT
ASU Researchers Receive $6m State Contract to Develop Rapid, 20-Minute Covid-19 Saliva Test
Arizona State University (ASU)

As the world manages through the coronavirus pandemic, Arizona State University continues its work to discover and develop easier and more widespread COVID-19 testing to assist in managing the virus.

Released: 25-Sep-2020 11:55 AM EDT
Scholars untangle marketing's complex role in understanding political activities
American Marketing Association (AMA)

As 2020 began, many pundits predicted a politically charged year, but few predicted that it would include a global pandemic overtaxing healthcare resources, strained U.S. race relations resulting in mass demonstrations across the globe, devastating fires consuming massive swaths of the United States, and a catastrophic global economic downturn.

Showing results

110 of 3409