A mysterious, deadly, fast-spreading, highly contagious virus infects hundreds of thousands of Americans in weeks. For a research institution like Boston University, home to engineers, social workers, doctors, historians, and data scientists, COVID-19 became the ultimate sandbox in which they could all work together in search of answers. BU received 46 different awards or grants related to coronavirus research in 2020, totaling more than $7 million.
At BU’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL), the subject of a New Yorker profile over the summer, virtually every research project was dropped so scientists could focus on combating and understanding the coronavirus. The NEIDL was one of the first places to house and work with live copies of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to advance coronavirus research.
“Between basic chemistry and drug discovery efforts and the NEIDL, BU is in a great position to be working on COVID-19,” said John Porco, director of BU’s Center for Molecular Discovery and professor of chemistry.