Visibility for the Respiratory Viruses- A focus on COVID-19

The BU CTSI along with the Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research have developed a Pre-ARC, titled: “Respiratory Viruses: A Focus on COVID-19
(Director, Dr. Markus Bosmann, Pulmonary Center)

Synopsis: SARS-CoV-2 has caused a global pandemic and lead to an unprecedented public health crisis within a few months. There is an urgent need to gain better insights into the underlying pathogenesis of localized SARS-CoV-2 infection in the lung and its distant organ disease complications. In this Affinity Research Collaborative (ARC), a multi-disciplinary researcher team of Boston University (BUMC, CRC) will employ novel cell cultures systems to dissect how this virus invades the lung epithelium, how it replicates inside cells, and how it is recognized and counteracted by the host immune defence. Novel cell cultures systems and in vivo models are developed and tested. Using mouse models  of the disease, studies will also focus on life-threatening complications, such as Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), sepsis, multi-organ failure, thrombocytopenia, and the role of co-infections, co-morbidities, sex and age. These directions will serve as a platform for pre-clinical models of SARS-CoV-2 infection to design innovative diagnostics, preventive agents and therapeutics. In a bidirectional translational approach, interactions between basic scientists, clinicians and epidemiologists will be embedded in the existing infrastructures, science networks and the collaborative culture of BU. In a broader perspective, this ARC initiative aspires to strengthen the preparedness for outbreaks of other contagious respiratory viruses in the future.