Skip to main content
Explore URMC
URMC / Coronavirus (COVID-19) / Coronavirus Research


Coronavirus Research at URMC

University of Rochester Medical Center scientists and clinicians are at the forefront of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Evaluating a Coronavirus Vaccine

Our researchers need individuals of all ages to join COVID-19 research studies.

Volunteer for a COVID-19 Vaccine Study

Physicians at URMC and Rochester Regional Health are investigating a new coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. The clinical trial will recruit 90 individuals ages 18 to 85 who have not been infected with COVID-19 and will evaluate the safety and efficacy of several variations of the vaccine. Rochester is one of four sites in the U.S. that will be conducting early stage studies of the vaccine. Edward Walsh, M.D., co-leader of the study, discussed the significance of the research with CBS Evening News. Read more about the coronavirus vaccine trial.

Developing Tests for Coronavirus

Rochester engineers and medical scientists are collaborating closely with clinicians to develop tests to detect coronavirus. Projects include research on a finger-stick test to detect and study immunity to COVID-19; the creation of tiny sensor chips that use coronavirus proteins to "very quickly" detect the presence of antibodies that help humans fight the virus; and testing samples of sputum, nasal mucus, or blood using ultrathin silicon nanomembranes to "instantly" determine if an individual has been infected. 

Scientists say their tests could not only help detect the disease in individuals, but also improve understanding of the mechanism by which it damages human tissue. The results may lead to new treatments and vaccines for coronavirus. Learn more about the research.

Examining the Immune Response to COVID-19

Scientists launched a new coronavirus research study to understand how the immune system responds to COVID-19 infection, including how long immunity lasts once a person has been infected and recovered. The findings will help scientists figure out how long potential vaccines could protect against the virus and inform decisions on re-opening the economy.

Our team is looking for volunteers ages 6 months to 80 years old who have symptoms which may be due to a COVID-19 infection or who were recently diagnosed with or exposed to someone with COVID-19. Learn how you can volunteer for a coronavirus research study.

Studying COVID-19 and Breast Milk

A collaborative project between researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center, New York University and University of Idaho will examine whether mothers can transmit COVID-19 through breast milk and whether the breast milk itself has immunological properties against the disease. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, the study could result in critical guidance for current and soon-to-be mothers. Learn more about this joint research project.

Studying the Effects of COVID-19 on Child and Adult Lungs

The Lung Development Molecular Atlas Program (LungMAP) and the Human BioMolecular Atlas Program (HuBMAP) collaboratives received funding from the National Institutes of Health to examine human lung tissue in order to determine why children seemingly contract COVID-19 at a lower rate and remain more asymptomatic than the older population. Gloria Pryhuber, professor of Neonatology, will lead URMC's involvement in this multi-institutional project. Learn more about this research project.

Testing Potential Treatments for Coronavirus

URMC has been participating in a range of clinical trials testing potential treatments for COVID-19, including remdesivir and convalescent plasma. With patients’ needs top of mind, URMC clinicians and researchers are working together to conduct clinical trials that offer our patients and community the most promising experimental treatments. Learn more about our latest coronavirus-related clinical studies and join our research registry to be alerted of future opportunities to participate in clinical studies.  

Identifying Disease Patterns

The New York State Emerging Infections Program (EIP) is part of the federal Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's national effort to provide population-based communicable disease data to identify disease patterns, evaluate vaccine programs, and to identify at-risk populations. The URMC EIP will be performing laboratory and population-based surveillance for COVID-19 as part of a multi-site national study. The group will collect a variety of demographic and clinical data that will be reported to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Monroe County Department of Public Health.

Interested in Participating in Coronavirus Research?

Sign up for our research registry to be alerted of new opportunities to participate in health research (you can now select COVID-19/Coronavirus as an area of research interest). If you are currently participating in one of our clinical studies that was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can learn more on our FAQ page.