Office of Development

The impact of Michigan Medicine’s COVID-19 research

Email sent on July 10, 2020


Dear Friends of Michigan Medicine,

I am excited to share with you some progress that our researchers are making in the effort to combat COVID-19. True to our collaborative nature, we have initiated much of the research but are also partnering with teams of engineers, mathematicians, statisticians, chemists, physicists, computer scientists, and various experts in public health across the University of Michigan to learn more about COVID-19. A few of these efforts include:

  • Our Center for Drug Repurposing is researching whether a drug previously approved by the FDA — or, more likely, a cocktail of several drugs — can battle COVID-19. The team is employing artificial intelligence methods to assist with this research.

  • Researchers from our Michigan Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care, or MCIRCC, have developed a wearable, helmet-style negative pressure ventilation system that may spare patients from needing a mechanical ventilator.

  • The new COVID-19 Biorepository holds more than 20,000 samples from hundreds of COVID-19 patients treated at Michigan Medicine, creating a wealth of opportunity for researchers to study how the disease functions.

  • Biostatistical analysis is being used to predict and mitigate the spread of the virus, to help find cures, protect medical workers, design testing strategies, illuminate disparities in outcomes, and perform contact tracing.

  • A study that has been looking at the spread of influenza in more than 300 households since 2010 will be testing specimens to evaluate the incidence of COVID-19 and transmission within the household setting, especially among people with mild illnesses who may not seek medical care.

July 23 webinar: I would also like to invite you to a webinar later this month in which several of our top researchers will share expertise about efforts to combat COVID-19 for Michigan and the world. They will discuss updates on testing for the virus, contact tracing, developing a vaccine, and more. You can submit your questions or comments ahead of time, and they will be shared with the researchers. RSVP and learn more about this event and the entire Well Aware webinar series online.

As always, thank you for your continued support of our COVID-19 Philanthropic Fund and Employee Emergency Fund.

With kind regards,

Marschall S. Runge, M.D., Ph.D.
Dean, University of Michigan Medical School
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, U-M
CEO, Michigan Medicine