GeneLab AWG Collaborates on New COV-IRT Website

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Afshin Beheshti of NASA GeneLab is a co-founder of COV-IRT, an international research team using a large consortium open science model to efficiently and rapidly improve understanding of COVID-19.

The Consortium COVID-19 project was initiated by scientists who are members of the NASA GeneLab Multi-Omics Analysis Working Group (AWG) led by Beheshti from NASA Ames Research Center. Starting with a few AWG members who were already involved with COVID-19 research, COV-IRT quickly formed on March 25 and now has grown to 100 members. The group brings together multi-disciplinary researchers willing to analyze multi-omics data from COVID-19 patients, build and develop therapeutics/vaccines, and test newly developed COVID-19 therapies as an open science collaborative group. This team is just one of the groups joining forces with the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium to bring together federal government, industry, and academic leaders to support COVID-19 research.

The overall goal of the Consortium COVID-19 Project: Rapid Therapeutic Design from Multi-omics Analysis to testing in in vivo models, is to enroll COVID-19 patients in a research study where the data collected will help the team apply their expertise in designing drug targets and developing tests in in vivo models for to study COVID-19. Ultimately, this study will help to categorize COVID-19 patients by different clinical symptoms and test results, leading to better allocation of healthcare resources and advanced monitoring in determining potentially severe COVID-19 patients before those cases require intensive care.

The group is projecting to finish their first analysis and publication in a short time frame of up to four weeks. They anticipate many more publications to come in the weeks to follow. Already, there is a better understanding of the virus. With each new member of this team, another piece of the puzzle is brought to the table, and with every novel finding, it is a step forward to help the scientists understand COVID-19.

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