GW Biostatistics Center Launches Three COVID-19 Projects

George Washington University
15-Jul-2020 10:40 AM EDT, by George Washington University

Newswise — WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 15, 2020) — The Biostatistics Center (BSC) at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (GW Milken Institute SPH) recently launched three projects to design, conduct, analyze and report on COVID-19 studies. The results from these three studies ultimately could help pave the way toward better prevention and treatment for the deadly disease, which so far has affected more than 3 million people in the United States.

“These important projects will help us understand the distribution and effects of COVID-19, particularly on underserved populations, ultimately improving public health,” said Scott Evans, PhD, Director of the GW BSC and Founding Chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at Milken Institute SPH.  

The first project, funded by the State of North Carolina, aims to learn more about COVID-19 by studying patients in five health care systems throughout the state. The BSC serves as the data coordinating center for the project and will work with investigators at the Wake Forest School of Medicine.

The researchers will conduct a large serosurveillance and syndromic study looking for symptoms, evidence of infection as well as potentially protective antibodies. Such tests can determine previous infections with the virus even if people had mild symptoms or no sign of illness at all. In addition, the antibody tests will help determine if people infected with the virus mount an effective immune response, said Diane Uschner, PhD, assistant research professor of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at Milken Institute SPH.

The funding for the BSC part of the one-year project comes to nearly $1 million.

The second project, funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will expand the COVID-19 surveys to multiple states, including Maryland, North Carolina, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Vysnova is the prime awardee of the CDC grant and the BSC has a subcontract valued at more than $1 million a year for two years. 

“These studies will have a very high impact on public health because they target a representative sample of populations in the participating states,” said Uschner, who serves as the principal investigator for the BSC on both studies.

In a third project, funded by the National Institutes of Health, the BSC will join researchers across the country to better understand how COVID-19 affects pregnancy outcomes.

Researchers at 12 U.S. clinical centers, which are part of the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units (MFMU) Network, will track approximately 1,000 to 2,000 pregnant women with COVID-19 infection and continue to monitor them for six weeks after they have given birth. The BSC serves as the data coordinating center for the project and will assist with study design, conduct all the statistical analyses as well as collect data from the 12 clinical centers.

In addition, the researchers will analyze the medical records of 24,000 women to evaluate whether changes to health care delivery and resource re-allocation, as a result of the pandemic, have led to higher rates of pregnancy complications and cesarean deliveries.

The project will also look to see if mothers infected with the virus can transmit it to their fetus.

“This study will address whether infection with COVID-19 during pregnancy increases complications and death compared to pregnant women without infection,” said Rebecca Clifton, PhD, an associate research professor of epidemiology at Milken Institute SPH and the principal investigator for the data coordinating center on this project. “The project will also look to see whether changes made to the healthcare of pregnant women during the pandemic have increased risks for both mother and baby.”

Support for the project comes from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Taken together, all three projects will help researchers learn more about COVID-19 and the virus that causes it. The results will help guide the public health response to the pandemic and help save lives through better surveillance, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment, Evans said.




Filters close

Showing results

110 of 4573
Released: 15-Jan-2021 5:40 PM EST
Research Links Social Isolation to COVID-19 Protocol Resistance
Humboldt State University

As health officials continue to implore the public to wear masks and practice social distancing, recent research by Humboldt State University Psychology Professor Amber Gaffney provides key insights into connections between social isolation, conspiratorial thinking, and resistance to COVID-19 protocols.

Newswise: Rapid blood test identifies COVID-19 patients at high risk of severe disease
Released: 15-Jan-2021 5:35 PM EST
Rapid blood test identifies COVID-19 patients at high risk of severe disease
Washington University in St. Louis

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that a relatively simple and rapid blood test can predict which patients with COVID-19 are at highest risk of severe complications or death. The blood test measures levels of mitochondrial DNA, which normally resides inside the energy factories of cells. Mitochondrial DNA spilling out of cells and into the bloodstream is a sign that a particular type of violent cell death is taking place in the body.

Released: 15-Jan-2021 2:55 PM EST
COVID-19 deaths really are different. But best practices for ICU care should still apply, studies suggest.
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

COVID-19 deaths are indeed different from other lung failure deaths, according to two recent studies, with 56% of COVID-19 patients dying primarily from the lung damage caused by the virus, compared with 22% of those whose lungs fail due to other causes. But, the researchers conclude, the kind of care needed to help sustain people through the worst cases of all forms of lung failure is highly similar, and just needs to be fine-tuned.

Released: 15-Jan-2021 2:50 PM EST
45% of adults over 65 lack online medical accounts that could help them sign up for COVID-19 vaccinations
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

As the vaccination of older adults against COVID-19 begins across the country, new poll data suggests that many of them don’t yet have access to the “patient portal” online systems that could make it much easier for them to schedule a vaccination appointment. In all, 45% of adults aged 65 to 80 had not set up an account with their health provider’s portal system.

Released: 15-Jan-2021 1:30 PM EST
New England Journal of Medicine publishes COVID-19 treatment trial results
University of Texas at San Antonio

A clinical trial involving COVID-19 patients hospitalized at UT Health San Antonio and University Health, among roughly 100 sites globally, found that a combination of the drugs baricitinib and remdesivir reduced time to recovery, according to results published Dec. 11 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Released: 15-Jan-2021 12:40 PM EST
DNA test can quickly identify pneumonia in patients with severe COVID-19, aiding faster treatment
University of Cambridge

Researchers have developed a DNA test to quickly identify secondary infections in COVID-19 patients, who have double the risk of developing pneumonia while on ventilation than non-COVID-19 patients.

Released: 15-Jan-2021 12:30 PM EST
Fight CRC To Present Research Findings on The Impact of COVID-19 on the Colorectal Cancer Community at 2021 GI ASCO
Fight Colorectal Cancer

Fight Colorectal Cancer presents abstract at Gastrointestinal Cancer Symposium highlighting the need to address the barriers and opportunities for care within the colorectal cancer community during the COVID-19 pandemic

Released: 15-Jan-2021 12:25 PM EST
Technion to Award Honorary Doctorate to Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla
American Technion Society

Israel's Technion will award an honorary doctorate to Pfizer CEO and Chairman Dr. Albert Bourla, for leading the development of the novel vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The honorary doctorate will be conferred at the Technion Board of Governors meeting in November 2021.

Released: 15-Jan-2021 11:30 AM EST
UW researchers develop tool to equitably distribute limited vaccines
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and UW Health have developed a tool that incorporates a person’s age and socioeconomic status to prioritize vaccine distribution among people who otherwise share similar risks due to their jobs.


Showing results

110 of 4573

close
1.11031