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Clinical & Translational Science Institute / About UR CTSI / Coronavirus Research Response

Coronavirus Research Response

The UR CTSI’s translational research ecosystem, which we have been developing and improving since our founding in 2006, has been critical to the University of Rochester’s research response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March of 2020, our team has been helping coordinate and steer the research response and working to keep our local community healthy, involved and informed.

Air Traffic Control

The UR CTSI has leveraged its expansive network of resources, experts and infrastructure to help researchers translate their COVID-19-related questions into clinical care and public health programs that benefit our entire community.

COVID-19 Biobank

Developed by the UR CTSI and the URMC Shared Resource Labs, the COVID-19 Biobank helps researchers access blood samples from hundreds of COVID-19-positive patients to improve the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of COVID-19.

Apply to use the Biobank.

Coordinating Clinical Trials

At the start of the pandemic, the UR CTSI pulled together a group of researchers from across URMC to review and coordinate COVID-19 clinical trials. The group identifies trial opportunities, facilitates startup and prevents overlap and competition for resources. If you would like to start a COVID-19 trial, please fill out a study interest form.

Getting Vaccines to the Community

UR CTSI Co-Director Nancy Bennett, M.D., is leading the New York State-designated Finger Lakes Vaccine Hub and the Monroe County COVID-19 vaccine task force. Working with Common Ground Health CEO Wade Norwood, Bennett is working to ensure equity and fairness in the vaccine rollout.

Learn more about the task force.

Working with the Community

Engaging the community in all stages of research is a major tenet of the UR CTSI. When the first cases of COVID-19 were reported in Rochester, the UR CTSI jumped into action to engage, inform and protect our community.

Six Feet Saves

Physical distancing saves lives. That was the main message of an award-winning outreach campaign developed by a task force of 13 community organizations, including the UR CTSI. The integrated, community-informed communications campaign was credited – as least in part – with helping to prevent transmission of COVID-19 in Monroe County early in the pandemic.

Visit the Six Feet Saves website. 

Bring Roc Back 

To ensure our community gets the full benefit of COVID-19 vaccines, we need to make sure that people trust the vaccines and will take them when they are available. The Bring Roc Back campaign, developed by the community task force that built Six Feet Saves, aims to inform and build trust in vaccines. By participating in clinical trials or taking the vaccine, we can bring Rochester back.   

Visit the Bring Roc Back website.