The NJBDA hopes you are safe and healthy. The following projects are just some examples of how NJBDA institutions are contributing to the fight against COVID-19. Check back often for updates.
George Avirappattu, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Mathematics
Kean University faculty Dr. George Avirappattu and Dr. Louis Beaugris together with faculty from New York University Medical Center (Drs. Girardin Jean-Louis, Azizi Seixas, Ricardo Osorio, and Jaime Ramos Cejudo) and University of Arizona (Dr. Sairam Parthasarathy) working on COVID-19 patient data, using machine learning tools, GIS, as well as standard statistical tools such as survival analysis.
We are utilizing de-identified qualitative and quantitative data from patients who came to NYU’s healthcare facilities during March, April, and May of 2020. These are patients with any COVID-19 complaints, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, gastrointestinal complaints, syncope, known exposure to another patient that tested positive for COVID-19, or clinician concern.
Our team is engaged in understanding the effect of demographics and metabolic burden in COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. Of key interest for us are factors like age, median household income, and prevalence of obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular etc. among population concentrations based on zip codes. We are now in the process of preparing our findings in a series of publications.
New Jersey City University
NJCU donates PPE to JCMC to help COVID-19 efforts
Last week, NJCU donated 400 Nitrile gloves, 200 masks, and 100 gowns to Jersey City Medical Center, as the University continues to identify ways to help the medical community in the ongoing fight against coronavirus. (Full story)
Edge provides computing, network, and cybersecurity resources to help Edge member organizations address the unique challenges of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.
Edge COVID-19 resource updates can be found on njedge.net (https://njedge.net/coronavirus-resource-updates/). This page offers available resources to help Edge member organizations address the unique challenges of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Edge is initiating several programs as the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold. They are reaching out to their members, industry partners, and the wider education and public sector community to encourage innovative thinking and creative solutions to emergent problems. See the Edge Call for Action program at: https://njedge.net/covid/a-call-to-action-for-the-edge-community.
Call 855.832.EDGE (3343) for more information.
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Dr. Haro Hartounian, Department of Chemistry and Environmental Science at NJIT, leads the Biopharma Division at the New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII).
The Biopharma Division at NJII was established to help industry overcome challenges they face as they develop the next wave of cell and gene therapies and improve their speed in transforming discovery into commercial production. Dr. Hartounian is forming a focus group to look into research projects and potential funding on the COVID-19 pandemic and related R&D. A proposed collaboration with other universities and industry is anticipated to focus on the development and scale-up of a monoclonal antibody against SARS-CoV-2 virus.
For more information, go to: https://njii.com/biopharma/center/
News articles and COVID-19 related activities:
FDA approves ventilator designed by particle physics community
In just six weeks, from March 19 to May 1, an international team of physicists and engineers led by Princeton’s Cristian Galbiati brought a ventilator from concept to FDA approval. (Full story)
Princeton University Relief Fund established to advance local community efforts in response to COVID-19
Princeton University has established the Princeton University Relief Fund to provide additional direct support to community organizations that are working to alleviate economic distress related to COVID-19 among individuals and businesses. The initial University commitment to the fund will be $1 million. (Full story)
University strives to support New Jersey communities during coronavirus pandemic
As part of Princeton’s ongoing efforts to support New Jersey and our neighboring communities, the University has made a number of donations to state and local partners that are working to help protect health care workers and emergency responders amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The University also is helping to address hunger and local food insecurity in a time of economic uncertainty, and will continue to work with the community and the state to find ways to help and support this fight over the long term. (Full story)
Particle physicists design simplified ventilator for COVID-19 patients
An international team of particle physicists have paused their search for dark matter to focus on the needs of victims of the global pandemic — in particular, their need to breathe. (Full story)
Princeton University program helps state governments tackle COVID-19
As health care providers work tirelessly to test and treat patients who may have contracted the COVID-19 virus, state and local governments are working around the clock to create, adapt, and implement policies to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus and address the growing needs of their constituents. The State Health and Value Strategies program (SHVS), a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation project based at Princeton University’s Center for Health and Wellbeing, is supporting state governments through webinars and a new resources website — advising on rapid policy implementation and lending expert analysis as states evaluate the tools available for responding to the public health crisis. (Full story)
NSF RAPID grant awarded for Princeton study of how anxiety affects the spread of COVID-19 information
Princeton researchers have been awarded a National Science Foundation RAPID grant to study how anxiety about COVID-19 influences how we learn and share information about the pandemic. (Full story)
Princeton humanists respond to coronavirus
As COVID-19 forces communities to isolate themselves, creating economic and political anxiety, the humanities can provide a sense of connectedness and historical memory.
Against a backdrop of disquiet, isolation, and confusion, humanities scholars at Princeton are offering their thoughts on the crisis, illuminating the values at stake in current debates. In op-eds, news commentaries, petitions, and digital projects, Princeton faculty are helping us to make sense of a shifting global landscape and to imagine how it might look when we emerge on the other side. (Full story)
Princeton co-develops new mathematical model to more effectively track epidemics
A new model developed by Princeton and Carnegie Mellon researchers improves tracking of epidemics by accounting for mutations in diseases. Now, the researchers are working to apply their model to allow leaders to evaluate the effects of countermeasures to epidemics before they deploy them. (Full story)
From the frontlines to the homefront, Princeton alumni, faculty, staff and students are serving and supporting their communities and fellow Tigers amid the challenges of COVID-19.
Princeton awards over half-a-million dollars in funding for rapid, novel and actionable COVID-19 research projects
With the aim of accelerating solutions to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Princeton has awarded University funding for seven new faculty-led research initiatives with strong potential for impact. (Full story)
NSF RAPID grant backs Princeton research to track and contain pandemic
The National Science Foundation has awarded emergency grants to two teams of Princeton researchers developing ways to better track and contain pandemics including COVID-19. (Full story)
Exploring COVID-19 Response Attitudes and Behaviors
Conducting a COVID-19 and analytics-related educational research project. Our team created various assignments based on COVID-19 data, covering the visualization, prediction, and prescription aspects of analytics. We are implementing these assignments in several undergraduate courses (n > 100) and we plan to investigate the impact of these analytics assignments on students’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to the pandemic.
For more information contact Dr. Emre Yetgin at email@example.com.
Rider professor, alumnus help fight COVID by making PPE with 3D printers
It’s no secret that there is a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors and nurses, as well as ventilators for the patients that they treat as COVID-19 continues to spread. (Full story)
Rider chemistry faculty make hand sanitizer for local hospitals
Donations help alleviate critical shortage (Full story)
Rowan University releases blueprint for 3D printed PPE mask for COVID-19 protection
Rowan University students — with oversight by engineering and chemistry faculty — designed the masks for health care workers on the front lines. (Full story)
Engineers at Rowan University making intubation boxes for local hospitals
When a team of mechanical engineers at Rowan University in Glassboro got an urgent request from a local hospital in need of intubation boxes, they quickly answered the call. (Full story)
Rutgers leads clinical trial of drug to prevent cytokine storms in COVID-19 patients
Trial is testing an oral anti-inflammatory drug that could provide early intervention to regulate immune response to virus. (Full story)
New Rutgers saliva test for coronavirus gets FDA approval
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency use authorization (EUA) to Rutgers’ RUCDR Infinite Biologics and its collaborators for a new collection approach that utilizes saliva as the primary test biomaterial for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the first such approval granted by the federal agency. (Full story)
Clinical trials for drug combination to treat coronavirus is fast-tracked by Rutgers
The Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey announced it has begun a clinical trial that will examine whether an anti-malaria drug doctors are administering as an off-label use to treat the coronavirus is more effective when taken with an antibiotic. (Full story)
Rutgers University institutional hub for COVID-19 research activities and information dissemination.
The rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic present unprecedented challenges to global health and scientific discovery. Rutgers University created the Center for COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness (CCRP2), a part of the Institute for Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases, to quickly respond to the global COVID-19 pandemic and to stimulate transformative solutions for challenges at the local, national and international levels.
Led by Dr. David Alland, the CCRP2 seeks to advance scientific breakthroughs in basic, translational and clinical COVID-19 research from our world-class research institutes and our multidisciplinary research community. To accomplish these goals, the CCRP2 is:
- Creating intramural funding opportunities for COVID-19 research at Rutgers University
- Facilitating multidisciplinary clinical and translational research collaborations between COVID-19 clinicians and academic researchers
- Developing, maintaining and sharing institutional resources for biomedical COVID-19 research
- Providing Biosafety Level-3 training and research facilities for COVID-19 researchers
- To fund a diverse breadth of topics to maximize potential for winning extramural support
- Fostering collaborations with the private sector to translate discoveries and bring relief to COVID-19 patients
For more information, go to: http://njms.rutgers.edu/research/CCRP2/
Supporting Production of PPE’s
The Mass Spectrometry Lab, led by Dr. Thomas Hartman in the Rutgers Department of Food Science, is currently supporting firms working on Covid-19 protective gear etc. One company for instance, is converting their chemical operation to make digitally printed PPE products. These products must be analyzed for safety for human contact. The Hartman lab conducts these tests which are used in the FDA approval process for PPE’s.
For more information, contact Dr. Thomas Hartman at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rutgers Business School COVID-19 Supply Chain Sourcing Initiative: Challenges, Solutions and the Future Local Economy
From a supply chain perspective, the pandemic creates a host of new challenges. Working with healthcare professionals, RBS Public-Private Community Partnership program (PPCP) identified the need for critical personal protection equipment and medical supplies (PPE), medication and the associated supply chains and networks (local-to-global).
In order to address the daily PPE and medication emergencies, PPCP activities include:
- established a 7 day a week network of hospital supply chain and procurement professionals, manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and expert volunteers
- sourcing supplies for ~12 hospitals
- re-engineering existing manufacturers, as well as creating new B2B networks
- support for over 12 hospitals by utilizing over 25 different manufacturers and Lufthansa
- established a web share site to keep information centralized that hospitals are using to obtain the high-volume sourcing products
- assisting communities as well as their own students whose parents are small business owners, apply for grants and loans, as well as providing value-added solutions that they could be doing pending a return to their businesses
- Two examples:
- worked with a Newark liquor distillery to convert their operations into a hand sanitizer manufacturer
- in the process of expanding a Newark textile manufacturer to produce the required N95 masks. PPCP is able to assist with the development of clear face guards in the meantime: article on Unionwear – https://njbiz.com/newark-manufacturer-produces-10000-face-shields-per-day-hospitals/
For more information regarding this program, contact Dr. Kevin Lyons at email@example.com
Rutgers’ empty computer labs put to use testing possible COVID-19 treatments
When COVID-19 forced students home, the university’s once-bustling computer labs fell silent, and more than 1,250 computers sat unused. Now the computers are at work once again, helping researchers around the globe fight the very disease that displaced students across Rutgers locations. (Full story)
A veteran AIDS researcher at Rutgers joins the battle against coronavirus
Eddy Arnold knows all too well the challenges involved in stopping a virus. The Rutgers University structural biologist has spent 33 years engaged in the battle against HIV, helping to discover two FDA-approved anti-AIDS drugs. Now Arnold is feeling an eerily familiar sense of urgency as he watches the novel coronavirus spread around the world, infecting hundreds of thousands and sowing panic, fear, and confusion. (Full story)
Seton Hall University
7 Questions with a COVID-19 researcher
School of Health and Medical Sciences (SHMS) Associate Dean and Professor, Ning (Jackie) Zhang, participates in a research study on the public health pandemic of SARS-Cov-2 virus spread in Chinese communities, as a co-Principal Investigator. (Full story)
Seton Hall University Q&A on COVID-19 and the supply chain
As the world attempts to navigate the uncertain conditions surrounding Covid-19, businesses, medical professionals and government officials have all struggled to maintain appropriate levels of goods – and the services that require those goods. (Full story)
Stevens Institute of Technology
Stevens welcomes first responders and medical workers fighting COVID-19
Stevens Institute of Technology is opening up its facilities to house first responders and medical workers in the fight against COVID-19. (Full story)
COVID-19 Health Hack
The Stevens Venture Center hosted the COVID-19 Health Hack from April 6 through April 12. This virtual hackathon was organized to create an environment in which students, academics and industry professionals could come together to identify and address pandemic-related issues and brainstorm solutions.
Course of Action: Effective Leadership in Times of Crisis
COVID-19 has ushered in an unprecedented time — one of great human tragedy and great change. Everything is changing — from the way we live, to the way we work, to the way we learn. We are all feeling these changes, in our homes, in society and, increasingly, in business.
To address this and other issues, the Stevens School of Business is launching an eight-week, faculty-led webinar series consisting of talks that address important topics related to how this crisis is already transforming business, and how organizations and leaders are coping with the resulting uncertainty. Through a series of short talks on leadership, strategy, finance and technology, our faculty will share insights on how to meet new challenges head on and bring an innovative spirit to this time of great disruption. This series begins April 8 and include: Healthcare; Financial Market; Social Media and Disaster; Social Distancing; Managing Supply Chains, Flattering the Curve, etc. A complete list with topics, abstracts, presenters, and schedules are available at: https://courseofaction.tech/
Stockton University student is 3D printing COVID-19 masks
When graduate student Gavin Rozzi heard that health care workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic were facing a shortage of personal protective equipment, he used his technology hobby to turn household items into masks with respirators. Over Stockton University’s spring break, Rozzi began cutting vacuum cleaner bags into masks and fitting them with plastic respirators printed from his home with a 3D printer. Each mask takes 6-7 hours to complete, so Rozzi can produce 2-3 masks per day. Time is a limiting factor, but through social media, he is creating a network to involve others who have resources and can help. See full story at: https://stockton.edu/news/2020/data-science-major-prints-protective-masks-for-health-care-workers.html
For more information about this project, contact Demetrios Roubos at Demetrios.Roubos@stockton.edu
The College of New Jersey
Investigating Protein-Receptor Interactions of COVID-19 and Relationship to Propagating the Disease
Dr. Joseph L. Baker, Associate Professor of Chemistry at TCNJ, is working with an international team of scientists to investigate the interactions between the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and its receptor in order to better understand what makes this virus more efficient in propagating disease. Dr. Baker is working alongside Dr. Adolfo B. Poma and Dr. Rodrigo A. Moreira at the Institute of Fundamental Technological Research, Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, Poland, and Dr. Horacio V. Guzman at the Jožef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The team members are leveraging the power of supercomputing to study this novel coronavirus, and Dr. Baker is carrying out molecular dynamics simulations for this project on TCNJ’s supercomputer ELSA (the Electronic Laboratory for Science and Analysis), which is an NSF-funded cluster housed in the STEM building on TCNJ’s campus. Ultimately, our team hopes that we can learn important information about COVID-19 and about any upcoming emerging diseases in the coronavirus family.
For more information, contact Dr. Joseph Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mathematically Modeling the Impacts of Social Distancing during the Coronavirus Epidemic
Current COVID-19 policy is being largely influenced by complex mathematical models with parameters, and even choices of variables, that are subject to huge uncertainty. This uncertainty is reflected in the widely diverging predictions reported in the news every day. It is very difficult to understand the sensitivity of outcomes (such as, say, the number of infected individuals over a given period) to model parameters and policy decisions. Moreover, in such complex models it is very difficult to solve “optimal control” problems to guide policy decisions. Our team, also consisting of Dr. Eduardo Sontag (Northeastern University), Dr. Cynthia Sanchez (Rutgers University), and Dr. Jim Greene (Clarkson University), is in the process of developing and analyzing a variation of the classic epidemiological SEIR model that incorporates the impact of social distancing. Using our model, we can rigorously formulate and answer questions like: How do we minimize the number of infected individuals over a fixed period of time (“flatten the curve”)? How do we weigh the impact of various types of interventions, including widespread testing, vaccination, or stay-at-home orders? Our hope is that our theoretical framework can provide robust predictions for answering questions such as these so we can best control the spread of the coronavirus.