York scientists contribute to global fight against COVID-19 with new projects, publications

Researchers in the Faculty of Science at York University have been helping shed new light on the COVID-19 pandemic by applying for research grants and publishing new studies that will help inform public health policy makers in Canada and abroad. Below is a summary of new research funding received and new research papers published by our researchers on COVID-19.

Research funding

Professor Jennifer Chen (Department of Chemistry) received $44,000 from York University 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. Read more

Professor Vivian Saridakis (Department of Biology) received $20,000 from York University 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. Read more

Professor Seyed Moghadas (Department of Mathematics & Statistics) received more than $260K from the Government of Canada to use mathematical modelling to predict the scope of disease transmission, potential outbreaks, and effectiveness of interventions and a vaccine, among other things. Read more

Professor Jianhong Wu (Department of Mathematics & Statistics) is leading a national COVID-19 math modelling team. The Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences received more than $660K from the Government of Canada to mobilize this national network of infectious disease modellers to develop mathematical technologies to assess transmission risk of COVID-19 and project outbreak trajectories. Read more

Research papers

Presence of mismatches between diagnostic PCR assays and coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 genome published in Royal Society Open Science (June 10, 2020). Read the media release from York University.

Modelling scenarios of the epidemic of COVID-19 in Canada published in Canada Communicable Disease Report (June 4, 2020).

De-Escalation by Reversing the Escalation with a Stronger Synergistic Package of Contact Tracing, Quarantine, Isolation and Personal Protection: Feasibility of Preventing a COVID-19 Rebound in Ontario, Canada, as a Case Study  in Biology (May 16, 2020). Read the media release from York University.

How Big Data and Artificial Intelligence Can Help Better Manage the COVID-19 Pandemic in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (May 2, 2020); the paper was included in the database of the Pan American Health Organization.

The Benefits Of A Mass Influenza Vaccination Campaign In The Time Of COVID-19 in Health Management, Policy and Innovation (April 23, 2020)

Projecting hospital utilization during the COVID-19 outbreaks in the United States in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (April 21, 2020)

Lessons drawn from China and South Korea for managing COVID-19 epidemic: insights from a comparative modeling study to the Bulletin of the World Health Organization (April 1, 2020); the paper was posted to the Bulletin’s COVID-19 open site.

Novel Coronavirus Infection (COVID-19) in Humans: A Scoping Review and Meta-Analysis, published in the Special Issue Real Time Clinical and Epidemiological Investigations on Novel Coronavirus of the Journal of Clinical Medicine (March 30, 2020). Read the media release from York University.

Canada Needs to Rapidly Escalate Public Health Interventions for Its COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies on SSRN (March 24, 2020). Read the media release from York University.

Estimation of the Transmission Risk of 2019-nCov and Its Implication for Public Health Interventions on SSRN (January 27, 2020)