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The University of Southampton

Southampton Coronavirus Response Fund surpasses £275,000

Published: 23 April 2020

The University of Southampton’s Coronavirus Response Fund has now raised more than £275,000 thanks to the generosity of over 900 donors.

The Fund, launched on 3 April, will support and accelerate the University’s research and other activities aimed at tackling the global pandemic COVID-19. This recent milestone was aided by a gift from alumnus Dr Chai Patel CBE FRCP and his family foundation, The Bright Future Trust. Dr Patel joins hundreds of other alumni, supporters and organisations from the Southampton area and around the world in supporting the University’s efforts to lessen the impact of the pandemic.

In response, the University has now begun to allocate grants from the Fund, with students amongst the first to benefit including student nurses and medics working on the frontline. Funds have also been distributed to interdisciplinary research teams developing new ways of tackling the disease. These include:

  • the further development and testing of the University’s PeRSo project to provide a personal respirator for frontline healthcare staff tackling COVID019. If the tests, run in conjunction with University Hospital Southampton, are successful it is hoped that PeRSo will solve the limitations of existing protective equipment that doctors and nurses are wearing on the wards;
  • the scaling up of research by Professor Max Crispin whose team in the University’s Institute for Life Sciences recently 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;
  •  the expansion of the University’s project to establish a second line of generation and distribution of PPE fit test solutions, required for testing of masks and respirators used by frontline staff.

“Thank you so much to everyone for supporting our many staff and students who are making a huge difference in the fight against COVID-19,” said Professor Mark E Smith, the University’s President and Vice-Chancellor. “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of the many donors who have contributed to this Response Fund which greatly helps to ensure that the University’s research and other activities can continue at pace to respond to these unprecedented challenges.”

Anyone wishing to make a donation to the Southampton Coronavirus Response Fund can do so by clicking here.  

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