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“It’s been inspiring to see how our world-class researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have hit the ground running and are on the forefront of fighting COVID-19, by studying the virus from different angles and disciplines. We are committed to the pursuit of excellence in research. What we are doing at the UW–Madison today to help combat COVID-19 is the epitome of the Wisconsin Idea. Together, we are Badger strong.”— Steve Ackerman, UW–Madison Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education
A few examples of the UW–Madison research effort to-date includes:
- An international collaboration of UW virologists and the vaccine companies FluGen and Bharat Biotech is developing and testing a unique vaccine against COVID-19 called CoroFlu.
- John Yin, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, who uses experimental and computational methods to understand how viruses spread.
- Song Gao, assistant professor in the Department of Geography, has received an NSF RAPID Grant for his project, “Geospatial Modeling of COVID-19 Spread and Risk Communication by Integrating Human Mobility and Social Media Big Data”
To know more about how UW researchers are contributing to the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.
Public Health Innovations
“Hospitals need N95 masks and other critical equipment. Our aim is to provide the shields at cost — and maybe free if donors step forward. We’d like to get 100,000-plus packed up and shipped from Madison to hospitals in need ASAP.” — Dr. Lennon Rodgers, Director, Grainger Engineering Design Innovation Lab
Some examples of how UW–Madison has contributed to the current public health needs are:
- A team of UW–Madison engineers have developed the Badger Seal, a simple and inexpensive do-it-yourself fitter that ensures a tighter mask seal around the wearer’s nose, mouth and face.
- UW experts from the schools of Ecology and Business, and the College of Engineering have designed masks for the campus from scratch.
- The College of Engineering has developed Badger Shield, a face shield design that is being used by manufactures to produce personal protective equipment for health care workers treating coronavirus patients and Badger Shield +, a see through mask that was designed for speech pathologists and other essential workers in schools.
- The Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene at UW–Madison is developing test kits that are boosting COVID-19 testing capacity at health care facilities across the state.
- A speech-language pathologist (SLP) at UW–Madison’s Waisman Center helped develop a set of tools allowing patients on ventilators to communicate.
- Researchers in the Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies (CHESS) are helping providers navigate the transition to telehealth services with specialized trainings and webinars.
- Zeeh Pharmaceutical Experiment Station partners with UW Health Pharmacy Services to provide vital supplies for healthcare workers.
Economic & Agricultural Engagement
“Farms have unique challenges with the rapidly spreading COVID-19… It has brought the need for business health, safety and continuity planning to the forefront. Now is the time to communicate with employees and family members regarding plans to keep them safe, healthy, and working especially during the busy planting season.”—Trisha Wagner, Manager, Extension Farm Management Program
Here are a few examples of how UW–Madison is helping the larger Madison community with economic problems that have arisen due to the pandemic:
- The UW–Madison Division of Extension is supporting Wisconsin’s farmers with online tools offering guidance on everything from sick leave for employees and routine cleaning to resources about farm management during COVID-19 and released a COVID-19 financial guide highlights resources available to residents across Wisconsin.
- The COVID-19 Effect on Wisconsin’s Non-profit Sector is a state-wide research collaboration at many University of Wisconsin System campuses to study the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting quarantine measures on non-profit organizations throughout the state.
- The Wisconsin Small Business Development Center, part of the Wisconsin School of Business, is helping small businesses navigate frequently updated regulations and policies related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Wellness & Education Support
“We watch for prevalent forms of misinformation and develop strategies to correct them based on science and experimentation and rapid-cycle testing. We’ll be looking at the best way to convince sceptical audiences that, say, mosquitoes don’t pass COVID, or that drinking one-fourth bleach and three-fourths water is not a cure for COVID-19.”—Professor Dhavan Shah, Professor, UW School of Journalism and Mass Communication
UW–Madison has delved into various projects that provide wellness and education support to the community, locally and state-wide, and here are a few examples:
- The free COVID-19 Wisconsin Connect app provides accurate information, social support and helpful resources to all residents of Wisconsin.
- UW–Madison Division of Extension offers food safety tips to assist with buying and preparing food during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) and the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) have partnered to create the Madison Education Partnership to improve experiences and outcomes for all MMSD students and reduce gaps in opportunity and achievement.
- Engineers at the UW have created educational and fun touch-screen games for at-home middle and high schoolers on atomic structure, lake pollution and more.
- State-wide COVID-19 coverage can be found on Wisconsin Public Radio and PBS Wisconsin.
An example of the effort by different local student organizations includes:
- The EWB have planned a banquet, where a portion of their proceedings will go towards funding the response towards the COVID-19 pandemic.