Julia Zakashansky, a doctoral student in materials science & engineering, working in a lab.

While all but essential research shut down, studies connected to COVID-19 ramped up as UCI’s scientific community mobilized in a quest to serve the public good. Researchers harnessed their intellectual resources to investigate how the coronavirus behaves and mutates. They created diagnostic tools to help doctors predict which patients are
more likely to be admitted to the ICU. And they launched antibody and surveillance studies to better assess the prevalence of the virus in the population and to understand why some people with COVID-19 get very sick while others don’t. Charged with producing and disseminating factual, evidence-based data, these experts welcomed what they saw as a tremendous period of collaboration among colleagues throughout the nation and the world. “The wonderful thing is that [researchers] understood the circumstances that the entire
community was facing,” said Pramod Khargonekar, UCI’s vice chancellor for research. “And the first thing they wanted to do was contribute in a meaningful way, however they could.”

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