The University of Toronto and affiliated institutions will receive almost $6 million for research projects related to COVID-19, with another $2.7 million to campus-based researchers, while $3.13 million will go to U of T researchers at affiliated hospitals – part of a $27 million federal investment in research related to the global outbreak.  

Keith Pardee, an assistant professor at U of T’s Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, is part of a research team that involves experts in four countries who are collaborating on low-cost and easy-to-use diagnostic tests to improve the triaging of patients.

During the Zika virus outbreak, the team developed diagnostics within weeks that met the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s gold standard for use in clinical labs. With COVID-19, the researchers propose to design a suite of diagnostic tools including a “lab-in-a-box kit” that can be used to respond to a large outbreak, a package to help produce diagnostics on-site to support a sustained response and an on-the-spot test for rapid screening of patients – even in places like a cruise ship or airport.

The team’s goal is to produce tools that will not only be useful in Canada but in countries with health-care systems less capable of handling mass emergencies. 

Read the full story on U of T news.

Published: March 6, 2020

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