Bristol's response to COVID-19
Bristol’s researchers are part of a global network of scientists responding urgently to the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic. Support from the University’s alumni and friends is critical to the success of their work.
Bristol's research response
A group of Bristol researchers, led by Dr David Matthews and Dr Andrew Davidson, have been working on the human coronavirus since 2002. Their work on SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID- 19, is focused on understanding the pathogenesis of the virus – how it causes disease, and how it interacts with our bodies. This work – taking place in Bristol in one of only two specialist labs in the UK – is critical to the development of diagnostic tools, drugs and vaccines to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alongside this human coronavirus research, Bristol’s researchers in the fields of immunology, infectious diseases and public health are contributing to the world’s understanding and control of the pandemic:
- Biochemists, biologists and computer scientists are exploring how the ‘virus-like particle’, created as part of the ADDomer vaccine platform, could combat the COVID-19 virus.
- Epidemiologists are establishing key studies to track the symptoms and prevalence of the pandemic among large population cohorts.
- Researchers across disciplines are exploring the impact the pandemic is having on society, including in education, the economy, mental health and physical activity.
The impact of alumni support
The extraordinary generosity of Bristol’s supporter community has enabled the University to act quickly to scale up our research on COVID-19:
- Donations from alumni and friends have funded a new incubator for Dr Matthews' and Dr Davidson’s laboratory, where researchers are growing SARS-CoV-2 and working to understand its behaviour.
- Generous gifts have also funded the preparation of another high-security laboratory at our Langford campus, to facilitate research into the airborne transmission of SARS-CoV2.
- The response to our appeal has enabled us to purchase new state-of-the-art equipment for our laboratories, including a microscope for the rapid imaging and screening of cells; an instrument to measure immune responses to infection and vaccination; and an instrument which prepares cell samples for COVID-19 diagnostic testing.
- Alumni have also contributed to the funding for researchers distributed by the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute, enabling researchers across the University to apply their expertise to the pandemic.
How you can help
To scale up our research on COVID-19, our researchers urgently need your support. Giving to the University of Bristol’s COVID-19 research response will help fund further work on the pandemic, including:
- Early tests on vaccines created through the ADDomer platform that could be capable of combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Innovative work on the airborne transition of COVID-19, led by researchers at the Bristol Aerosol Research Centre.
- Tapping into our unique ‘Children of the 90s’ cohort to track the factors that impact susceptibility to infection, and understand the true frequency of infection.
Supporting students during the pandemic
Many Bristol students have been profoundly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Some have lost crucial part-time jobs, some are unable to travel home, and for others, the University is their home, so they remain in halls or private accommodation at a time when most of their friends have left.
Bristol alumni have already risen to the challenge of helping the University support our current students. You have contributed generously to the coronavirus student hardship fund, established to help students experiencing the financial impact of the pandemic. You have also generously volunteered your time to the Bristol Voices programme, connecting with students who remain at Bristol, to help combat social isolation. We are so grateful for your support.
Make a donation
Donate now to support Bristol's coronavirus research.
Visit our blog to find out how your donations are helping our research.