Coronavirus: researching tests that could help us now and safeguard our future

Professor Ray Kruse Iles,
our head of biomedical science,
actively seeking long-term
solutions to pandemics

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, we have turned our attention to COVID-19 Diagnostics and in particular three areas of research:

1. Coronavirus Testing

NISAD’s head of biomedical science is researching a much less expensive and much faster way of testing for the coronavirus using mass spectrometry. This test will inform people whether they are infected with the virus and enable them to make informed decisions about their current physical health.

2. Testing for coronavirus antibodies

Following on from this, NISAD will be researching a much less expensive and much faster way of testing for coronavirus antibodies using mass spectrometry. This test will inform people whether or not they have had COVID-19 and will include advice on the level of immunity they are likely to have based on the result of the test, thereby giving them greater agency to make informed decisions about their current physical health.

Acting now and safeguarding our future

3. Psychological Support

We are also developing appropriate psychological support to accompanying testing so that people have the tools to cope emotionally with the process of testing and receiving their result.

Our attention is on the current pandemic and also on the future beyond Covid-19.

To focus solely on Covid-19 would be like putting a sticking plaster over a wound then waiting for it to fester and explode. We must look further into the future and create the means through which we can properly heal the wound of this pandemic as well as manage and contain future outbreaks.

We are researching the development of a diagnostic technology that rapidly and cheaply detects ALL future epidemic and pandemic virus outbreaks.

The availability of rapid testing would mean we can isolate the virus and prevent transmission in our globally connected society, thereby safe guarding lives as well as the entire economic stability of all our countries around the world.