GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – ECU’s Brody school of medicine is receiving millions of dollars in funding to their projects for COVID-19 research—$15 million to be exact.
The vice dean and medical departments are gearing up 20 different projects to learn more about the novel coronavirus.
“This is a disease that is going to need the help of the entire health system,” said Vice Dean at Brody, Peter Schmidt
Schmidt stresses the importance of the research needed for COVID-19.
“And make sure that we know who has the disease and how to get them the help they might need if it progresses to a more complex and more severe version of this disease,” Schmidt said.
The $15 million CARES Act fund is going to help with that. Brody received this money to help improve treatments, advance vaccine research and minimize the impact of COVID-19 in the region and state.
Paul Bolin is the Chair of Medicine at ECU.
“We’re not going to get ahead of this thing until we start treating people before they get sick enough to be in the hospital,” Bolin said.
Bolin sees the benefits of these funds firsthand.
“What this did was really a stimulus shot to give us the momentum we needed early on to get this going. So, this had a huge impact thus far,” said Bolin.
Bolin says many of these efforts have already started.
In addition to this, Brody plans to use the funds to help those at high-risk get access to healthcare.
Schmidt said, “We need to make sure that the clinical trials include diverse populations so that when the drugs are approved, we know how they work in everybody who might need them.”
Bolin said, “We’re trying to take the science that is being developed elsewhere and here and project it into Eastern North Carolina.”
And the money doesn’t just help internal medicine, it’s also allocated to departments like pathology, microbiology, and it helps their laboratories as well.
Other funded projects support high-risk and rural populations in the region and efforts to slow transmission.
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