Glasgow has provided critical insights to improve patient management, develop new treatments, assess immunity within the population and develop diagnostics and vaccines.

UK-wide SIREN study

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) Professor Lesley Price is co-ordinating the Scottish arm of the UK-wide SIREN study, in partnership with Public Health Scotland, and working closely with NHS Research Scotland and the Chief Scientist Office. SIREN is a study testing 100,000 health workers, which will provide information on immunity from and prevalence of COVID-19 infection. The primary objective of the study is to determine whether the presence of COVID-19 antibodies is associated with a reduction in the subsequent risk of re-infection over the next year.

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World’s largest study into impact of physical activity on COVID-19 immunity

GCU launched the world’s largest study into impact of physical activity on COVID-19 immunity – to find out for certain if physical activity can boost COVID-19 immunity. The study is aimed at aiding government decision-making around current recommendations on physical activity and exercise to boost immunity to COVID-19 during the coronavirus pandemic. It is the most comprehensive systematic review ever conducted into the impact of physical activity on immune response.

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Major COVID-19 trials and research

Scientists at the University of Glasgow are also currently working on a number of vital COVID-19 related research projects, including vaccines, treatment and virus behaviour. Researchers at the University of Glasgow are also leading two major COVID-19 trials:

-Thee OCTAVE trial – a national UK-wide trial to explore the efficacy of vaccines on people with immunocompromised conditions and diseases.

-The CISS (COVID in Scotland Study) trial – a major new pan-Scotland COVID-19 study which aims to better understand the long-term health of people who have had COVID-19.

Scientists at the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research (CVR) have played a key role in studying the virus, working on a range of COVID-19 response areas including vaccine trials, virus genome sequencing, COVID-19 drug screening and virus resistance and long COVID research. Their Scottish and UK national, as well as global scientific contributions include:

  • The CVR is a key part of the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium, and is one of 16 key academic institutions in the pan-UK alliance of scientists working on COVID-19 whole genome sequencing.
  • In early 2021 it was announced scientists at the CVR would join G2P-UK, a new national research project to study the effects of emerging SARS-CoV-2 mutations.
  • Scientists at the CVR lead the ground-breaking project, CRUSH (COVID-19 drug screening and resistance hub). The project has received £2.5million to investigate promising drug candidates for COVID-19 treatment.
  • Scientists are also part of a newly-launched UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium (UK-CIC), which aims to answer key questions on how the immune system interacts with SARS-CoV-2 to help us fight COVID-19 and develop better diagnostics, treatments and vaccines.
  • The CVR is also a partner in the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium.

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