Multidisciplinary COVID-19 research

Specialized science

This fall, UNC Charlotte’s wastewater sampling and testing program captured the attention of the North Carolina General Assembly, prompting a $9 million legislative appropriation — the largest in University history — to our Bioinformatics Research Center. This funding is supporting the development of a novel COVID-19 monitoring program based on the presence of the virus in wastewater and public transportation systems, as well as the development and analysis of viral and epidemiological data to address viral spread, assess treatments and therapeutics, and combat COVID-19 and future viruses.

One example of work supported by this funding is that of bioinformatics and genomics professor Dan Janies, whose studies were among the first to trace SARS-CoV-1 virus back to its origins in bats. Through high-performance computing, he and his team have been able to compare all coronaviruses, assessing their potential for resisting drugs and for jumping from animals to humans. Since last winter, Dr. Janies has been featured in a number of media and webinar interviews, providing interpretation of this specialized science for the public. 

Multidisciplinary efforts

Additional exciting COVID-related research is underway at UNC Charlotte, spanning public health, electrical and computer engineering, mathematics, bioinformatics, geography and earth sciences, computer science, among other disciplines. Here is just a snapshot:

Silver linings are beginning to emerge at the close of the most challenging year in most of our memories. Stay safe.