Getting a drug or vaccine from the research bench to the bedside of a patient in need is a complex process, and one that researchers around the globe are currently trying to navigate as quickly as possible to address the spread of COVID-19. 

To improve understanding of this intricate, interdisciplinary undertaking, faculty and students in the Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences (GSAS) program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in collaboration with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai Hospital, are developing a video game called "Cure Quest." This game will help bridge the gap in med school education between the clinical side of medicine and basic research. 

“Cure Quest will allow medical students to tie together the necessary steps for vaccine development in dramatic cases like we’re seeing right now with COVID-19,” said Ben Chang, a professor of arts and Director of GSAS at Rensselaer, “or in drugs we would use day-to-day.” 

The main character in the game is sent to an island where there is a new disease and must overcome obstacles in their pursuit of creating a new drug to cure the disease. When its development is complete, Chang envisions Cure Quest being used by the general public, as well by students in scientific and medical fields, to better understand the drug development pipeline. 

Chang is available to speak about Cure Quest and the use of video games as important educational tools.