Saving lives with research
Help our researchers learn more about Covid-19 to identify treatments and save lives.
There is so much we still don’t know about the Covid-19 strain of the coronavirus. As the world reports thousands of daily deaths, scientific and medical communities face an urgent challenge to find the solutions to stop the spread of the virus and prevent more loss.
We must unite together, across sectors, across disciplines, across continents to tackle the devastating effects of this virus as fast as possible.
Support our research response
Edinburgh's research community has been addressing some of the urgent challenges ahead, through expert contributions to national and international policy making to adapting research programmes to enhance understanding of Covid-19 and seek out life-saving treatments.
Your support will help our research community do more of this vital work. A donation to our Covid-19 medical research fund will support our three priority research projects for Covid-19, but as the crisis unfolds we may allocate resources to meet wider medical research initiatives to meet partnership opportunities as they emerge. Alternatively, you can give to one of the three projects listed.
Three major, inter-connected research projects are among the significant research activity seeking to find answers. You can choose to support one of these three research programmes or give more generally to our medical research fund for Covid-19.
A team of 150 respiratory physicians and scientists, led by Professor Kev Dhaliwal, is working at speed on a Covid-19 treatment. Treatment options will be vital before a vaccine becomes widely available, and remain much needed beyond, as no vaccine will be 100% effective. The team’s treatment trials will deploy unique technology developed in Edinburgh in 2018 to see inside the living human lung, allowing results to be analysed in real time and shared immediately with research and healthcare partners across the UK, Australia, India, Japan, the USA, Malawi and several European countries.
If successful, treatment would prevent the need for ventilators, which would be of particular benefit to low- and middle-income countries where access to intensive care facilities and ventilators is scarce. Through its work with worldwide researchers, healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies, the team has identified pathways and drugs that are being used for other diseases that target these mechanisms. Drugs for testing are arriving from local and international partners. Work is underway on initial tests towards first trials. Your support can accelerate progress and help us build still stronger national and international collaborations.
The Roslin Institute’s Dr Kenny Baillie is leading a project to learn more about how Covid-19 affects the body. Researchers are collecting samples and data from 1,300 Covid-19 patients across the UK. The results will provide real-time information about the virus to help control the outbreak and improve treatments. These insights will help researchers discover who in the population is at higher risk of severe illness and what is the best way to diagnose the disease. They will also probe what happens in patients’ immune systems to help or harm them when they contract Covid-19.
The UK Government made one of its largest single research grants for Covid-19 to support this work led by Edinburgh working with Imperial College London, the University of Glasgow and the University of Liverpool.
Edinburgh’s on-site world-class medical data analysis is not only central to our Covid-19 research programmes, but also our wider research and public policy interventions for Scotland and internationally. Researchers from our Usher Institute are advising government on public health policy including activities such as social distancing, tracing and tracking the spread of infection and testing.
Among several projects, teams lead by Professor Aziz Sheikh and Professor Nick Mills will track the progress of the Covid-19 epidemic in near real time, using healthcare records of 1.2 million people in Scotland to form a more complete picture of the effect Covid-19 is having upon people's health. Scotland is uniquely placed to allow this type of research due to the rich dataset generated via the Community Health Index (CHI) number - a distinctive identifier assigned to each person in Scotland registered with the NHS.
This process will help to identify the clinical features of the pandemic and, in due course, provide estimates of the effectiveness of any vaccines and anti-viral therapies. The study will model the full course of the epidemic from genome sequence data and will be able to refine this model to provide precise estimates of the attack rates in different sub-populations, accompanying hospitalisation and fatality rates.
Get in touch
If you would like to discuss how gifts of all levels can make a real difference to our research partnerships, please get in touch with Chloe Kippen, Head of College Advancement and Health Philanthropy.