The focus on one retired professor as a prime source of Coronavirus expertise by parts of the corporate media and amongst some in the Brit Nat/Unionist clique is unwarranted but unsurprising! However, the Talking-Up Scotland Collective would rather introduce readers to the current, internationally renowned and diverse, research capability present in Scotland and to the contributions it is making during this global public health emergency.
UK Research and Innovation uses Scottish university research capability
Coronavirus-related research now receiving funding via ‘UK Research and Innovation’ include the following projects lead by staff in Scottish universities:
University of Edinburgh – ISARIC: Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium (ISARIC-4C)
ISARIC is the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium. ISARC’s purpose is “.. a global federation of clinical research networks, providing a proficient, coordinated, and agile research response to outbreak-prone infectious diseases. It published on 20 April an analysis of Covid-19 for19,809 individuals from 244 sites across 25 countries. The Consortium Lead Investigator for this work is Dr J Kenneth Baillie at University of Edinburgh. He runs a research programme in translational applications of genomics in critical care medicine and works as a consultant in the intensive care unit at the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh.
University of Edinburgh – ‘Early Assessment of COVID-19 epidemiology and Vaccine/anti-viral Effectiveness (EAVE II)’
University of Glasgow (MRC Centre for Virus Research) – ‘Innate Immunity and Host Species Barriers’
University of Glasgow – ‘Understanding Chinese government containment measures and their societal impacts’
University fo Edinburgh’s leading role in the GenOMMIC study
Genetics Of Mortality In Critical Care: GenOMICC is an open, collaborative, global community of doctors and scientists trying to understand and treat critical illness. The partners in the study have been recruiting patients since 2016 to study emerging infections (SARS/MERS/Flu), sepsis, and other forms of critical illness. It is the largest study of its kind anywhere in the world.
The study’s web site states is currently communicating this to its partners and stakeholders: “Susceptibility to COVID-19 is almost certainly, in part, genetic. GenOMICC can find the genes that cause susceptibility, which may help us to prioritise treatments to respond to the global crisis. …. All patients with confirmed COVID-19 in critical care are eligible for GenOMICC; please recruit them as normal, following local infection control precautions. In particular, we aim to recruit every intubated patient with COVID-19.” The lead UK investigator is based in the University of Edinburgh.