U of T and Hospitals launch COVID-19 Action

Some MetroActive members have received the email below in regards to the University of Toronto and its Hospital partners launching the COVID-19 Action Fund. The email highlights what some of the groups members have already accomplished in the battle against COVID-19, also known as the Chinese Coronavirus.

Dear Mr. XXXXX,

We hope you, your family, and friends are staying healthy and safe during these challenging times. In the midst of social distancing and self-isolation, we are all rediscovering how connected we are to each other and how important it is to reach out and support each other in the midst of this global crisis. We recognize that many of our alumni and friends are on the front lines of this pandemic from health care professionals to social workers to government officials and many more. The University of Toronto is tremendously proud of all the work you are doing to keep us healthy, safe, and connected.

Across our University community, faculty, staff, students, and alumni are making significant contributions to the battle against COVID-19—in many cases garnering global attention for their leadership and impact.

  • UofT Medicine virologists Samira Mubareka and Robert Kozak based at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, together with a McMaster University scientist, have isolated and reproduced the virus, of benefit to teams around the world working on its genomic profile and on vaccine development.
  • Pharmacy professor Keith Pardee is working on tools to make it faster and cheaper to carry out widespread tests for COVID-19, particularly in remote parts of the world—a WHO global priority.
  • UofT alumni brothers Paul and John Lem, founders of Spartan Bioscience, are developing a mobile, hand-held testing kit—”the world’s smallest DNA analyzer”—for production in the next few weeks.
  • Dalla Lana School of Public Health epidemiologists David Fisman and Ashleigh Tuite are modeling data to forecast the spread of disease and answer three fundamental questions we all have: When will it peak? How big will it be? When will it end?

These remarkable scientists and innovators are advancing immediate and tangible solutions to treat, halt, and reverse the spread of the pandemic.

Spurred by the need to accelerate and multiply these efforts, the University of Toronto has created the Toronto COVID-19 Action Fund to support projects at UofT and its hospital partners across the Toronto academic health science network, with the potential for rapid results and direct impact on the health of individuals, communities, and on the front lines of care.

Together, the University of Toronto and its hospital partners have already invested $6 million in the Toronto COVID-19 Action Fund. We are hoping to match that amount with a call for donations. The funds will be granted in their entirety within the next few weeks to scientists at UofT and its hospital partners for initiatives with the potential for immediate impact. This includes, but is not limited to the following critically important areas:

  • Antiviral and vaccine research
  • New diagnostics and therapeutics
  • Redeployment of research labs to support testing and quick development of new test measures
  • Rapid production scale-up of ventilator technologies, masks and other essential health safety equipment using innovative 3-D printing technologies
  • Public health social and policy interventions, dealing with disease transmission, response systems, and crisis management
  • Examination of the many dimensions – economic, cultural, sociological – affected by the crisis and strategies for recovery as the pandemic abates

We invite you to join us in the battle against COVID-19 by contacting the University of Toronto at annual.fund@utoronto.ca or giving securely online to support the Toronto COVID-19 Action Fund today.

We recognize this is a time of immense turmoil and disruption in our lives. As we face this serious threat together, we know that our greatest strength is in our community—our caring, compassionate, and dedicated faculty, staff, and students, and our wonderfully supportive alumni and donors. We wish you all continued health and well-being and thank you for your consideration of this urgent request.

Best regards,

David Palmer
Vice-President, Advancement

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