Scientists receive funding for new COVID-19 research projects

Professor Jennifer Chen (Chemistry) and Professor Vivian Saridakis (Biology) in the Faculty of Science were among 10 researchers who received new funding from York University to pursue research projects dedicated to Canada’s fight against COVID-19.

“This was a competitive grant with a time-sensitive deadline, and I would like to thank all applicants and congratulate those chosen to receive funding.Their projects demonstrate York’s exceptional interdisciplinarity and the University’s ability to respond to the unique challenges posed by COVID-19 in these unprecedented times,” said Vice-President Research & Innovation Amir Asif, whose division is providing the funding.

Professor Chen and her team received $44,000 for a project focused on modifying textiles and non-woven materials to derive antimicrobial properties to increase the protection of cloth-based personal protective equipment (PPE). Existing antimicrobial agents present health risks and environmental toxicity, so they will develop methods to incorporate copper for cloth-based PPE.

Professor Saridakis and her team received $20,000 for a project that hypothesizes that variations in the genomic sequences of the COVID-19 virus may play a pivotal role in geographic differences in rates of infection, transmission and deaths. Using bioinformatics and biochemical approaches, they will analyze the genomic variations and their resulting structural or functional changes, in order to establish the roles of these variations in COVID-19 infection and disease.

For more information about the funding, read the media release from May 5, 2020.