£100k boost for University’s COVID-19 fundraising campaign

The University’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Campaign has been given a boost this week following the receipt of a £100,000 donation to support vital research being undertaken into the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and its impact.

The donation will be used for a new study that will focus on the transmission of COVID-19 in around 1000 people, or 300 households, in the North West to provide better understanding of how behavioural interventions could help to minimise the spread of the virus.

The study is being led by Professor Neil French and is one of a series of projects being supported by the NIHR Health protection research unit in emerging and zoonotic infections (HPRU EZi) and the Centre of excellence in infectious diseases research (CEIDR) – both established University of Liverpool and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine joint initiatives.

Extraordinary generosity

Professor Neil French, said: “We are deeply grateful to this donor for this act of extraordinary generosity.

“It is hoped that data gathered during this study will lead to quicker and more accurate diagnostics that will help inform government decisions about who should or shouldn’t be isolated.

“The study will also look at patients’ immune systems, to help inform the development of vaccines and drug treatments and look at household behaviours to provide information about the consequences of short- and long- term approaches to social distancing.”

Tremendous impact

Professor Tom Solomon, Director of HPRU EZi and co-investigator in the study, secured the funding from the donor. He said: “We are incredibly thankful for this substantial and generous donation which will have a tremendous impact on our ability to address important questions about community transmission of COVID-19.”

In recent weeks Liverpool researchers have secured £10 million in external grant funding, including 22 new projects that have been awarded a share of £1.1 million of pump-priming funding. All research resources at the University have now been diverted to support the study of COVID-19, with over 150 researchers focusing their efforts on better understanding of the disease.

Alumni and supporters have been quick to respond following the launch of the campaign in March, with philanthropic contributions totalling £169,375 raised in just under a month as well as over 75,000 pieces of PPE equipment donated from around the world.

Michaela Riches, Associate Director of Development, said: “We are extremely grateful for this amazing donation and for all the support we receive from our donors. This is the biggest global crisis that we will experience in our lifetime and all donations to our campaign, large and small, make a tremendous difference to our work to support our valuable NHS and protect people’s lives.”

For more information about the campaign and how you can support it, visit the campaign page