The Research Response

Published in Hopkins Medicine - Summer 2020

In mid-March, Johns Hopkins launched a massive and ambitious initiative to repurpose research facilities and allocate new financial resources to projects that will advance understanding of COVID-19, prevent its spread and care for the sick. 

“This is a university that lives and breathes research; optimizing and maximizing research is in the very fiber of our being,” says Denis Wirtz, vice provost for research at Johns Hopkins. “There are very few universities that can contribute on this scale to addressing the immediate needs of the global community. It’s a beautiful thing to be involved in.” 

To date, $6 million in university funding has been redirected to support roughly 260 scientists and researchers working on 25 projects grouped under five complementary interdisciplinary themes: understanding the virus, understanding and mitigating transmission, understanding the effects of COVID-19 on patients, helping patients recover, and developing new ways to protect health care workers and solve supply chain issues. 

The COVID-19 Research Response Program is focused on supporting high-impact, foundational projects that provide the framework and resources — including data, assays and samples — necessary to enable further COVID-19 research at The Johns Hopkins University. The groups will share initial reports and relevant instructions for accessing shared resources in May. 

“The focus of these projects is on immediate impact,” Wirtz says. “Are we thinking about long-term solutions? Of course. But our main concern is on immediately improving the health of patients, health care workers and our global community.” 

READ MORE about the COVID-19 Research Response Program.