Development of Resources for a National COVID-19 Information Website for Families of Children with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

This research project will both contribute to, and examine the impacts of, the Autism & Intellectual-Developmental Disabilities National Resource and Exchange Network (AIDE) COVID-19 website for children with neuro-developmental disability (NDD) and their families, including evaluation for continual quality improvement and determining impact. Directed by the Pacific Autism Family Network, AIDE is a wide-reaching initiative that is nationally and regionally focused in offering information and support to individuals with NDD and their families.

Characterization of aerosols generated by various dental procedures

Dental procedures generate a large quantity of airborne droplets. With the concern that COVID-19 transmits through respiratory droplets, dental personnel are at high risk of being exposed to the virus if an asymptomatic patient comes to their clinic.

Validation of blood-brain barrier imaging as a biomarker for neuropsychiatric symptoms

When blood-vessels in the brain are damaged, substances can leak from the blood into the brain. Such leakage can affect cognition and mental health, however there are currently no clinically-available tests for detecting such leakage. In this project we are developing a method for diagnosing blood-vessel leakage using MRI. We believe that this technology may help explain why patients diagnosed with the same disease often have very different severities of outcome.

Evaluation of a small, gas powered, patient-responsive automated resuscitation/ventilation device adapted to pandemics of respiratory failure

The projects will involve the modifications of a small automated ventilator (breathing machine) suitable for use in pandemics and underresourced settings (outside hospital, in patient transport, small hospitals), especially suited to patients with severe lung disease. Partner organization will be able to improve the design of the current ventilator to make it better suited for these settings.

COVID19 viral genome sequence analysis to track viral transmission, to understand evolution of viral genome, to develop novel diagnostic tools as well as to identify novel therapeutic targets

A comprehensive genomic study for the virus SAR-Cov-2 itself and COVID-19 patient samples will be studies analyzed to understand the nature of the virus developments, and to find genomic biomarkers that helps in diagnosing and the treatment of the disease. We will try to understand the molecular network of the virus in the body and investigate the role of the coexisting agents as well in the patient samples. The bioinformatics tools and wet-lab experiments will help us to create a pipeline to react to any similar future epidemic/pandemic.

Multi-OMIC biomarkers to predict neonatal vaccine response

Many babies die within the first month of life from infectious diseases. Despite successful neonatal vaccination programs, it is not yet possible to accurately predict if a vaccine will work on a newborn child, at the individual “personalized” level. We need to better understand the mechanism of antibody generation after vaccination to improve immunization programs. This project will work in that direction by analyzing novel data obtained from neonates in The Gambia and then validate the findings with data from Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Smart Textiles for the delivery of neuromuscular electrical stimulation therapy (NMES)

Up to half of patients with COVID-19 requiring mechanical ventilation in an intensive care unit (ICU) will develop ICU-Acquired Weakness (ICUAW). Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) holds promise to both prevent and treat ICUAW. NMES applies electrical impulses to muscles through electrodes placed on the skin to induce muscle contractions, and is highly effective in maintaining muscle mass and strength following limb injury, when loading and exercise is limited.

Macrophage modulation to reduce disease progression in hospitalized patients with COVID-19

Seriously ill patients with COVID-19 require ICU care, and have high rates of mortality, especially amongst patients with concurrent diseases such as high blood pressure. Recent clinical data demonstrate that disease progression is associated with an overwhelming, atypical cytokine response known as “Macrophage Activation Syndrome” (MAS). Macrophages are immune cells that can directly damage tissue or release cytokines that also damage distant organs leading to their failure.

Bio-Stream COVID test

The detection of SARS-CoV-2, the causative of COVID-19, is challenging because the used techniques, such as nucleic amplification, cannot detect a whole virus. Instead, it amplifies nucleic acids that can be fragmented with no information about the presence of an infectious virus. We propose to use a technology based on the use of a physic characteristic of molecules called Raman spectroscopy, a non-destructive technique capable of identifying samples on a molecular level. The sample of interest is exposed to laser light, producing Raman waves.

Development of the Metaplex Immuno-Oncology Platform - Formulation Component

Current cancer immunotherapies, although highly successful, are complex to implement, costly, and only effective in small patient populations with specific cancer types. We propose to overcome these problems by developing small molecules to induce immunogenic cell death (ICD), a cancer cell death process that engages the immune system to recognize and eliminate cancer cells and to generate immunological memory. Cuprous Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CPI) has identified ICD-inducing compounds that are enhanced by copper (Cu) as an adjuvant.