Investigator uses Washington University ICTS resources for COVID-19 research and clinical trial efforts
The CTSA program was developed to accelerate new treatments from the lab to patients, enabled to a large extent by patients participating in and benefiting from clinical trials. Clinical trials provide that needed bridge from human subjects to hypotheses to treatments that can directly benefit human health. And, never has this connection been more critical than amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.
With the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020, many CTSAs including the Washington University Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS), pivoted immediately to research on SARS-CoV-2. Specimens were urgently needed to help investigators understand the pathobiology of this novel coronavirus to develop diagnostics for infection and aid vaccine efforts. During these early days of the pandemic, the ICTS acted quickly to help establish a biorepository to fill this need at Washington University School of Medicine. Rachel Presti, MD, PhD, an associate professor of medicine and medical director of the Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Unit, was one of many ICTS investigators involved in the early development of the biorepository. Along with Washington University faculty members Jane O’Halloran, MD, PhD; Charles Goss, PhD, and Philip Mudd, MD, PhD, Presti was developing plans to best collect biological samples and establish protocols to efficiently distribute specimens to the researchers that needed them.