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The University of Southampton

Southampton Coronavirus Response Fund surpasses £170,000 milestone

Published: 9 April 2020
COVID-19 illustration
Over £150,000 was donated within days of the Southampton Coronavirus Response Fund was launched.

The University of Southampton’s Coronavirus Response Fund has surpassed the milestone £170,000 mark in donations received since being launched on Friday (3 April).

Over 750 staff, students, alumni and others from the local community have, so far, donated to the Southampton Coronavirus Response Fund to urgently support and accelerate the University’s research and other activities aimed at tackling the global pandemic.

News of the fund’s success to date comes as the University announces ground-breaking research which reveals the fundamental features of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID19. Researchers from Southampton’s Chemistry team have produced the first model of a spike of the virus which shows how it disguises itself to enter human cells undetected, and the viral proteins which are the target of antibodies and vaccine research. The findings of this study could provide crucial information to help scientists currently searching for a vaccine.

Meanwhile, staff from the University's Medicine and Chemistry teams have worked around the clock to produce supplies of vital liquid solutions used to ensure that facemasks for healthcare workers are fitted safely. Each facemask used on the wards needs to be adjusted individually to the wearer’s face and the seal of each mask needs to be checked by spraying a flavoured solution around it. If the wearer can taste the flavour whilst performing certain exercises, then the mask is not fitted correctly as droplets must have penetrated the seal.

“We want to thank our staff, students, graduates, friends and supporters whose generosity have helped to give our fund a major boost in our efforts to support the critical work happening right now at the University of Southampton to protect, save and support vulnerable lives in the city and across the globe,” said Professor Mark E Smith, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton. “The research we’re doing right now, right across the University, is very important to unlocking many of the solutions the world is looking for right now. All donations, big and small, will make a difference and enable us to do even more.”

People wishing to make a donation to the Southampton Coronavirus Response Fund can do so by visiting

All sizes of donations are most welcome and appreciated. More information about the Fund is available at

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