COVID-19 Research Collaboration

Resources for Researchers and Research Staff to connect 

This page is for: faculty, postdocs, students, and staff engaged in COVID-19 research and related activities

Updated: September 16, 2020 11:36 a.m.

To enable collaboration, streamline connections and reduce duplication of efforts, several resources are available for researchers and staff who are: 

  • Doing research projects related to COVID-19
  • Refocusing their work to support frontline efforts (i.e. rapid manufacturing of PPE, supporting diagnostics), and
  • Involved in clinical work in the Calgary Zone

Please contact VPR Communications at vprcomms@ucalgary.ca with questions about this page. 

Visit the COVID-19 Response: Guidance for Researchers page for all updates related to research operations.

Opt-in to Research Updates

Subscribe to receive the COVID-19 Research Digest

Typically sent every other Friday, this digest email summarizes operations updates that were issued to the research community, as well as funding opportunities, webinars, impact stories, and opportunities to participate in COVID-19 related studies.

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Communications archive

Email communications sent by the Office of the Vice-President (Research) will be listed here.


Funding Opportunities

Administered by Research Services

Please visit the Funding Deadline Calendar for all current opportunities administered by Research Services.

Find updates from funding agencies regarding changing deadlines due to the pandemic.

University of Calgary / Alberta Health Services

Other opportunities

Please check with your faculty facilitator to locate resources to help you develop your application.

Innovation Funding Opportunities


Ask & Offer Sessions

Biomedical Engineering and Innovate Calgary are co-hosting weekly Ask & Offer sessions for COVID-19 research, via Zoom. If you have a service or skill to offer to researchers, or a COVID-19 project that is in need of support (skills, industry partners, materials, etc), you are welcome to attend. 

Sessions are held every Thursday from 1:30–2:30 p.m.

If you would like to attend, please email bme@ucalgary.ca for information. 


To locate specific types of research equipment on campus, you may submit a request to the Integrated Service Centre to run a search.

Please provide as much detail in your request as possible. 

Integrated Service Centre 
scmhelp@ucalgary.ca

403-220-8800


Key stakeholder liaisons

If you wish to reach out to federal or provincial partners for the first time, we ask that you consider first connecting with one of the identified UCalgary individuals to ensure that we avoid duplication of efforts and protect everybody's time as we navigate the current situation. 

 

Municipal

For City of Calgary: 

  • Jessica Park, Government Relations Specialist (Municipal Affairs)

Provincial

For AHS Contracting, Procurement and Supplies Management (CPSM): 

  • Eoin O'Grady, Manager, Laboratory Safety and University Biosafety Officer
  • Benedikt Hallgrímsson, ACHRI / Cumming School of Medicine 
  • Ashley Whitehead, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

For Alberta Public Health Laboratories (ProvLab):

  • Eoin O'Grady, Manager, Laboratory Safety and University Biosafety Officer
  • Hallgrimur Benediktsson, Head, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine

For Alberta Health Services leadership for Calgary Zone: 

  • John Conly, Medical Director, W21C
  • Jon Meddings, Dean, Cumming School of Medicine

Federal

CanCOVID: federally-mandated, expert-led COVID-19 research response

CanCOVID is an expert community of Canadian COVID-19 researchers, clinical collaborators, and healthcare stakeholders from across the country. Canada’s Chief Science Officer mandated the creation of CanCOVID to optimize Canada’s research response to the COVID-19 public health crisis. Learn more about CanCOVID.

For National Microbiology Lab, Public Health Agency of Canada:

  • Eoin O'Grady, Manager, Laboratory Safety and University Biosafety Officer

For Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, ISED

  • John Alho, Associate Vice-President (Government Relations)
  • Eoin O'Grady, Manager, Laboratory Safety and University Biosafety Officer

UCalgary COVID-19 related projects

Tip for studies recruiting participants 

Post your study on the UCalgary Participate in Research website and the province-wide BeTheCure.ca website to help recruit participants.

Opt-in via IRISSInstructions

This list is not exhaustive and may not reflect the current status of the project.

If you wish to have your research project displayed, or have edits on a current one, please contact VPR Communications.

Equipment, Infrastructure and Products

Development and implementation of rapid metagenomic sequencing coupled with isothermal amplification point of care testing for viral diagnostics.

PI: Dr. Dylan R Pillai, MD, PhD - Microbiology, Immunology & Infectious Diseases, CSM

Contact: drpillai@ucalgary.ca

Developing diagnostic kits for COVID-19 while working with APL/Provlab/ Health Research Innovation Center (HRIC) to evaluate its clinical performance.

PI: Dr. Amir Sanati Nezhad, PhD - Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, SSE, Dr. Dongyan Niu, PhD - Ecosystem and Public Health, UCVM

Contact: amir.sanatinezhad@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators:

  • Faculty of Science
  • BME 
  • SSE
  • National Microbiology Laboratory
  • Several Chinese partners and hospitals
  • Dr. Byron Berenger (Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine)
  • Dr. Faizal Abdul-Careem (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine)
  • Dr. Timothy Booth (University of Manitoba)
  • Dr. Behrouz Far (SSE)
  • Dr. Kartikeya Murari (SSE)
  • Dr. Gary Wong (Université Laval)

In collaboration with Creative Protein Solutions Inc., we are converting our existing biosensor for the detection of biomarkers of infection and inflammation into a test for antibodies against the new coronavirus. Our biosensor converts these antibodies into glucose, which can be detected by a common glucometer or custom-made device. The test reagents can be produced in unlimited quantities, which would allow screening a large portion of the population for antibodies, to assess exposure levels and ‘herd immunity’.

PI: Dr. Jeroen De Buck, PhD - Production Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Contact: jdebuck@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Creative Protein Solutions Inc.

Developing medical equipment intended for mass-manufacture, including an emergency pandemic ventilator system (modern-day iron lung).

PI: Dr. Mark Ungrin, PhD - CBEM, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Contact: mdungrin@ucalgary.ca

The current test: with collaborations with a Chinese team, who has many years of experience in developing technologies in virus detection, we have developed a test kit that could detect COVID-19 virus as low as 100 RNA copies in 40 min at 85% of accuracy with the following advantages: reaction products are visible to naked eyes (i.e., via colors), while no elaborate equipment and well-trained specialists are required. It is portable and a point-of-care test for front-line practitioners at community-level.

PI: Dr. Edwin Wang, PhD - Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, CSM

Contact: edwin.wang@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr M. Cuperlovic-Culf (National Research Council Canada)
  • Dr. X. Shao (National Research Council Canada)

An observation study examining the use of mechanical ventilation and/or extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation for 2019 novel Coronavirus Acute Respiratory Disease.

PI: Dr. Ken Parhar, MD - Critical Care Medicine, CSM

Contact: ken.parhar@albertahealthservices.ca

Applied Research

DNA synthesis and DNA sequencing for UCalgary groups performing approved critical research on COVID-19

PI: Dr. Richard T Pon, PhD - Centre for Health Genomics and Informatics and UCDNA Services, CSM

Contact: rtpon@ucalgary.ca

In partnership with APL’s Provlab, UCalgary investigators aim to support Alberta’s public policy, diagnostic, and treatment COVID-19 goals by performing whole viral genome sequencing of all positive cases in Alberta. As of March 25th, 1443 SARS-CoV-2 genomes are publicly available from around the globe, their mutations over time being used to track transmission sources as well as monitor for the development of COVID-19 sub-strains (https://nextstrain.org). Alberta viral genome data are crucial to inform rational pandemic suppression public policies, local test kit development, and vaccine development.

PI: Dr. Francois Bernier, MD - Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, and Dr. Benedikt Hallgrimsson, PhD - Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Cell Biology and Anatomy, CMS

Contact: bhallgri@ucalgary.ca

Producing and obtaining the 3D structures of covid-19 proteins as part of NIAID (NIH, US) funded structural genomics consortium (CSGID, https://csgid.org/)

PI: Dr. Alexei Savchenko, PhD - Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases, CSM

Contact: alexei.savchenko@ucalgary.ca 

Other Collaborators: 

  • Karla Satchell (North Western University, Chicago, USA)
  • Aled Edwards (University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada)

Virology/Prion Research Group – involved in various projects on COVID-19 diagnostics, COVID-19 Virology and Host Responses with other researchers at UCalgary.

PI: Dr. Guido van Marle PhD and Dr. Rebekah DeVinney PhD - Microbiology Immunology Infectious Diseases, CSM

Contact: vanmarle@ucalgary.ca, rdevinne@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Carla Coffin (Departments of Medicine and Microbiology, Immunology & Infectious Diseases)
  • Dr. Markus Czub (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine)
  • Dr. Faizal Careem (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine)
  • Dr. Jennifer Corcoran (Departments of Medicine and Microbiology, Immunology & Infectious Diseases)
  • Dr. Rebekah DeVinney (Departments of Medicine and Microbiology, Immunology & Infectious Diseases)
  • Dr. John Gill  (Departments of Medicine and Microbiology, Immunology & Infectious Diseases)
  • Dr. Sabine Gilch (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine)
  • Dr. Hermann Scheatzl (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine)
  • Dr. Frank van der Meer (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine)

Establishing a mass spectometry based test to develop a device for fast detection assay.

PI: Dr. Elmar Prenner, PhD - Department of Biological Sciences

Contact: eprenner@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Ian Lewis (Department of Biological Sciences)

The COVID-19 coronavirus relies on the nsp12 polymerase to make copies of its RNA genome to form new viral particles during infection. Our 3D models of nsp12 show how existing drug compounds could be modified to inhibit nsp12 activity more effectively. Based on this analysis, the Ling lab will synthesize chemical compounds tailored to fit nsp12, and the Ng lab will test their effects on nsp12 in vitro and determine how nsp12 recognizes these compounds in 3D. Highly inhibitory compounds are expected to cripple viral replication and infection, thus helping patients to overcome the disease in severe cases.

PI: Dr. Kenneth KS Ng, PhD - Department of Biological Sciences

Co-PI: Dr. Chang-Chun Ling, PhD - Department of Chemistry

Contact: ccling@ucalgary.ca, ngk@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Francisco Parra (Universidad de Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain)

We have developed an inducible transgenic model for cytokine storm, based on the widespread activation of STING, a key antiviral protein involved in the defense against both DNA and RNA viruses, including Coronaviruses. This novel preclinical model will be useful for evaluating the therapeutic potential of anti-cytokine agents, such as biologicals, and/or small molecule signal transduction pathway inhibitors. The model will also allow investigation into the effects of induced cytokine storm on critical organs, including, brain, lung, liver and kidney.

PI: Dr. Frank Jirik, MD - Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, CSM

Contact: jirik@ucalgary.ca

Direct detection of viral proteins via liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry to enable non-PCR based point-of-care COVID-19 testing. Development of viral containment device for high throughput metabolomics-based drug screening and efficacy testing.

PI: Dr. Ian Lewis, PhD - Biological Sciences

Contact: ian.lewis2@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Bryan Yipp (Cumming School of Medicine)
  • Dr. Dan Gregson (Alberta Precision Laboratories)
  • Dr. Sergei Noskov (Biological Sciences)
  • Dr. Lorne Tyrell (University of Alberta)
  • Dr. Andre Buret (Biological Sciences)

CD4 and CD8 T cells are critical players in the adaptive immune response against viral infections. Understanding the protective and pathological roles of these cells during SARS-CoV-2 is likely to lead to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of COVID-19 disease as well as the importance of these cells in effective vaccination. We aim to phenotypically and functionally characterize effector and memory SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells in different patient groups to determine the relative importance of these cells in naturally acquired protection and as potential vaccine targets.

PI: Dr. Nathan Peters, PhD - Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases, CSM

Contact: ncpeters@ucalgary.ca

Outbreaks of infections by coronaviruses including Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and more recently, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) have caused significant mortality worldwide. There are no effective measures for prevention or treatment. Cellular immune responses including neutrophils, macrophages, T cells and NK cells to SARS-Cov-2 are unclear. In this collaborative project, the Mody lab seeks to understand NK cell recognition, cytolytic pathways and effector mechanisms to coronaviruses, and using recent advances in NK cell memory, plan to develop an NK cell vaccine. The Peters lab seeks to examine T cell activation, differentiation and memory to SARS-CoV-2, and the Surewaard/Kubes lab seeks to examine the role of neutrophils in host defense and lung injury in COVID-19.

PI: Dr. Chris Mody, MD - Microbioloogy, Immunology and Infectious Disease, CSM

Contact: cmody@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Nathan Peters, PhD
  • Dr. Paul Kubes, PhD
  • Dr. Bas Surewaard, PhD
  • Dr. Margaret Kelly, MD

 

The COVID-19 pandemic requires the development of a safe and effective vaccine. We are currently building prototype SARS-CoV-2 vaccines engineered into the recombinant VSV vector system. Lead vaccine candidates will be tested for safety, immunogenicity and protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 in Syrian hamsters.

PI: Dr. Jennifer Corcoran, PhD - Microbioloogy, Immunology and Infectious Disease, CSM

Contact: jennifer.corcoran@ucalgary.ca

The COVID-19 pandemic requires the development of a safe and effective vaccine. We are currently building prototype SARS-CoV-2 vaccines engineered into the recombinant VSV vector system. Lead vaccine candidates will be tested for safety, immunogenicity and protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 in Syrian hamsters.

PI: Dr. Doug Mahoney, PhD - Microbioloogy, Immunology and Infectious Disease, CSM

Contact: djmahone@ucalgary.ca

The CONCOR-1 Trial will determine if convalescent plasma (CP) from recovered COVID-19 donors reduces mortality in patients with acute COVID-19 infection admitted to hospital. The trial will be conducted by the Canadian Transfusion Research Network (CTRN) in collaboration with Canadian Blood Services (CBS) and Hema-Quebec (HQ) who will be collecting, screening, testing and distributing COVID-19 CP to be used exclusively in the context of this study (CONCOR-1) and a harmonized pediatric trial (CONCOR-Kids) under a Health Canada Clinical Trial Application. CBS and HQ will identify eligible plasma donors who are >14 days from resolution of symptoms of COVID-19, meet all other donor screening requirements and have high titre (>1:160) anti-SAR-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies. Patients >16 years who are admitted to hospital and receiving supplemental oxygen for respiratory complications due to COVID-19 infection will be randomized 2:1 to receive either ~500 mL of apheresis CP or local standard of care. The primary outcome is in-hospital mortality. Secondary outcomes include the proportion of patients requiring mechanical ventilation, time to mechanical ventilation or death, ventilator free days, length of stay in ICU or hospital, need for ECMO and grade 3-4 serious adverse events. This multicentre trial will be inclusive of all provinces in Canada across ~40 sites (~25 in provinces outside Quebec and ~15 sites in Quebec).

PI: Dr. Davinder Sidhu, MD - Pathology and Lab Medicine, CSM

Contact: Davinder.Sidhu@albertaprecisionlabs.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Bryan Yipp, MD
  • Dr. Mark Gillrie, MD, PhD
  • Dr. Andrew Demchuk, MD
  • Dr. Etienne Mahe, MD
  • Dr. Dawn Goodyear, MD
  • Dr. Deepa Suryanarayan, MD
  • Sunnybrook Research Institute

 

Clinical Research

Understanding the global landscape of immune and host defense responses in patients requiring life-support in the ICU with severe lung injury due to COVID-19.

PI: Dr. Bryan Yipp, PhD - Critical Care Medicine, CSM, Dr. Jeff Biernaskie, PhD -  Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, CSM

Contact: bgyipp@ucalgary.ca

Other collaborators:

  • Dr. Jeff Biernaskie (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine)
  • Dr. Bryan Yipp (Cumming School of Medicine, Critical Care)
  • Dr. Ian Lewis (Biological Sciences)
  • Dr. Antoine Dufour (McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health)
  • Dr. Marvin Fritzler (Cumming School of Medicine, Snyder Institute)
  • Dr. David Sinasac (Department of Medical Genetics, ACHRI) 
  • Dr. Matthew Lines (Department of Medical Genetics, ACHRI) 
  • Dr. Jeroen De Buck (Faculty of Vet Med)
  • Dr. Meer-Taher Shabani-Rad (Cumming School of Medicine), 
  • Dr. Margaret Kelly (Cumming School of Medicine, Pathology)
  • Dr. Wendy Sligl (UofA ICU)
  • Dr. Paul Kubes (Cumming School of Medicine) 
  • Dr. Mark Gillrie (Cumming School of Medicine, Infectious diseases) 
  • Dr. Braedon McDonald (Cumming School of Medicine, Critical Care) 

This study evaluates changes in illness severity and risk of adverse outcomes in emergency department patients with non-COVID medical problems during the pandemic.

PI: Dr. Andrew McRae, MD, PhD - Emergency Medicine, CSM

Contact: amcrae@ucalgary.ca

The current pandemic situation is stressful for everyone, and it provides unique challenges for pregnant women. We are trying to understand how stress and mental health affect pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic, how other factors (e.g., social support) might mitigate stress, and how this may influence pregnancy and birth outcomes.

PI: Catherine Lebel, PhD - Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, CSM

Contact: brainmri@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Lianne Tomfohr-Madsen (Department of Psychology) 
  • Dr. Gerald Giesbrecht (Department of Psychology) 

This study is currently recruiting. Learn more on the Participate in Research website. 

A North American registry of the digestive manifestations of COVID-19.

PI: Dr. Nauzer Forbes, MD - Community Health Services, CSM

Contact: nauzer.forbes@ucalgary.ca

Mapping the mechanism of viral inflammation in the lung and assessing the impact of novel compounds on viral lung inflammation.

PI: Dr. Craig Jenne, PhD - Microbiology, Immunology, and Infectious Diseases, CSM

Contact: cnjenne@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Dan Muruve (Department of Medicine)

Evaluate endothelial function in tissues exposed or not to oxidative stress due to inflammatory cytokine action (as in the setting of coronavirus viremia) or to hyperglycaemia (as for diabetics).

PI: Dr. Morley Hollenberg, MD - Department Physiology & Pharmacology, CSM

Contact: mhollenb@ucalgary.ca

A two-year global prospective study that will enroll and follow-up children with suspected COVID-19 from 50 participating emergency departments (ED) across 19 countries. Statistical analysis of the collected data will allow for the identification of risk factors associated with children having confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, and/or severe COVID-19 outcomes.

PI: Dr. Stephen Freedman, MD - Department of Paediatrics, Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute

Contact: sarah.urquhart@ahs.ca, kelly.kim@ahs.ca

The aim is to develop an in-depth understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the well-being and changing health services needs of people living with neurological or psychiatric conditions and their family members or care partners. Through developing this understanding we can inform our development of how best to provide virtual care in times of decreased social/physical contact and develop policy and service recommendations. These recommendations may be used in times of future pandemics; extreme weather phenomenon; outbreaks of other disease or isolation in supportive living or long term care facilities; or other emergencies where social distancing/isolation/virtual care may be required.

PI: Dr. Pamela Roach, PhD - Community Health Sciences, CSM

Contact: pamela.roach@ucalgary.ca

The COVID-19 outbreak has prompted Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT) clinics to rethink their practices to balance risks of one public health emergency against another: the overdose crisis against a global pandemic. Currently, clinicians report that conventional OAT guidelines could be modified in favour of facilitating physical distancing measures for vulnerable patients. Additionally, front-line providers express concern that individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) currently not connected to OAT are at even more risk than usual, as their illicit sources dry up due to border closings and increased prices in their street supply. First Nations research partners report growing desperation among those affected, a situation that poses to undermine both individual and population health. Risk behaviour driven by desperation among socially-vulnerable groups will have little regard for COVID-19 safety measures, especially in inner-city and rural/remote communities affected by disproportionate presence of OUD, resource disparities, and minimal infrastructure to endure an outbreak. The research will profile emergent risks related to OUD and COVID-19 among socially-vulnerable groups, which due to structural inequities tend to be medically underserved. We will evaluate models of care adapted by OAT-providing clinicians to navigate dual public health emergencies, balancing harm reduction during an overdose crisis with physical distancing during the pandemic.

PI: Dr. Rita Henderson, PhD - Department of Family Medicine, CSM

Contact: rihender@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Rita Isabel Henderson (Department of Family Medicine)
  • Dr. Steven Persaud (Department of Family Medicine)
  • Dr. Lynden (Lindsay) Crowshoe Department of Family Medicine)
  • Dr. Pamela Roach (Brain & Mental Health Clinics, HBI) 
  • Dr. Myles Leslie (School of Public Policy)

The COVID-19 pandemic has already had a large impact on the training of doctors - teaching has entirely moved online, clinical clerks have been removed from their rotations, and residents are being prepared to provide care on other services. This cross-sectional survey aims to broadly explore the impact of the pandemic on medical students and residents around the world. This anonymous, voluntary survey takes 5-10 minutes is available in multiple languages. If you are a medical student or resident and you wish to learn more about this study and participate, click the link. 

PI: Dr. Rahim Kachra, MD - Department of Medicine, CSM

Contact: allison.brown@ucalgary.carahim.kachra@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Aliya Kassam (CHS)
  • Mike Paget (CSM)

Children may be asymptomatically colonized with SARS-CoV-2. As community transmission increases it becomes increasingly important to identify, quantify and track asymptomatic colonization and to understand transmission dynamics and the risk to family members and healthcare providers. We will collect nasopharyngeal swabs from 10 asymptomatic children brought for emergency department care at the Alberta Children’s Hospital each day, which we will test for SARS-CoV-2. Household member symptoms and SARS-CoV-2 status will be tracked. Information will be shared in real-time with policy and decision makers which will inform policies and the risk posed by asymptomatic children to household contacts and healthcare providers. 

PI: Dr. Stephen Freedman, MD - Department of Paediatrics, Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute

Contact: sarah.urquhart@ahs.ca, kelly.kim@ahs.ca

Using two large established cohorts of children and parents with chronic pain and/or risk for mental health problems, who have had their pain and mental health assessed in detail at baseline (i.e., before the COVID-19 pandemic), we will examine how the stress and impact from COVID-19 leads to changes in (and onset of) pain and mental health (anxiety, depression, PTSD) issues over time.

PI: Dr. Melanie Noel, PhD - Psychology, Hotchkiss Brain Institute

Contact: madison.kennedy@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Daniel Kopala-Sibley, PhD
  • Dr. Katie Birnie, PhD

Current COVID-19 literature indicates a trend towards milder symptoms and lower infection rates in children compared to adults. We are drawing on the pediatric immune response landscape data mined for the childhood cancer vaccine program to identify effective new SARS-CoV-2 antiviral therapies.

PI: Dr. Aru Narendran, MD, PhD - Pediatrics, Oncology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Physiology & Pharmacology, CSM

Contact: a.narendran@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators:

  • Dr. Luis E. Murguia-Favela
  • Dr. Don Morris
  • Dr. Otto Vanderkooi 
  • Dr. Anthony Schyvers
  • Dr. Alexei Savchenko
  • Dr. Kamran Yusuf
  • Dr. Satbir Thakur
  • Dr. Gavin Burgess

As the impact of the local and global measures to try and control the COVID-19 pandemic may be far reaching, we aim to explore these measures on individual’s lives.

PI: Dr. Ranjani Somayagi, MD - CSM

Contact: rsomayaj@ucalgary.ca 

Other Collaborators:

  • Dr. Caley Shukalek, MD 

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to assess the efficacy and safety of oral hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 positive patients for the prevention of severe COVID-19 disease.

PI: Dr. Michael Hill, MD - Clinical Neuroscience, CSM

Contact: craig.doram@ucalgary.ca; meboesen@ucalgary.cagcerchia@ucalgary.ca; kjryckbo@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Luanne Metz, MD
  • Dr. Ilan Schwartz, MD (UofA)
  • Dr. Lawrence Richer, MD (UofA)

This study will enable us to understand how and why SLE patients navigate health information sources during a public health crisis, but also the types and sources of information patients need, in what format, and how to more aptly serve this community now and in the future.

PI: Dr. Ann Clarke, MD - Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, CSM

Contact: cjvanlam@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Susan Elliott, PhD (Waterloo)
  • Dr. Murray Urowitz, MD (UofT)
  • Dr. John Hanly, MD (Dalhousie)
  • Dr. Christine Peschken, MD (UofWinnipeg)
  • Dr. Sasha Bernatsky, MD, PhD (McGill)
  • Dr. Paul Fortin, MD (Laval)

COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus which has caused a World Health Organization, WHO declared pandemic in 2020. Patients with underlying chronic health conditions and who are taking immunomodulatory medications are thought to be at increased risk of poor outcomes. This internet-based survey will capture information about COVID-19 cases among patients with rheumatologic and autoimmune diagnoses which will allow clinicians to improve treatment recommendations aimed at the management of COVID-19 in this patient population, including: · Management of rheumatic and autoimmune diseases in light of the COVID-19 pandemic · Prevention and treatment of COVID-19 in patients on immunomodulatory medications

PI: Dr. Ann Clarke, MD - Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, CSM

Contact: cjvanlam@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Global Rheumatology Alliance
  • University of Calgary Division of Rheumatology Members

Assessing and addressing the psychosocial impacts of COVID- 19 among pregnant women and health care providers in Anhui, China.

Co-PI: Dr. Keith Stephen Dobson, PhD - Psychology, Hotchkiss Brain Institute

Contact: ksdobson@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Shelby Yamamoto, PhD

Investigation into SARS-COV-2 Spread via Healthcare Encounters in the Calgary Region of Alberta Health Services.

PI: Dr. Ranjani Somayaji, MD - Community Health Sciences, CSM

Co-PI: Dr. John Conly, MD - W21C

Contact: rsomayaj@ucalgary.ca

This study is a survey of healthcare workers examining their individual and workplace risk factors and development of symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19. There will be three surveys: one pre-peak of cases, one after the peak of cases, and another in one year to ask about exposures, risk factors, and symptoms.

PI: Dr. Nicola Cherry, PhD - University of Alberta, Dr. Shannon Ruzyki, MD - CSM

Contact: shannon.ruzycki@ucalgary.ca

A randomized controlled trial in which nurses, physicians, and healthcare workers will be randomized to either medical masks or N95 respirators when providing medical care to patients with COVID-19. This Canadian multi-centre randomized controlled trial will assess whether medical masks are non-inferior to N95 respirators when participants provide care involving non-aerosol generating procedures. Participants will be randomized to either use of a medical mask or to a fit-tested N95 respirator when providing care for patients with febrile respiratory illness. The primary outcome is laboratory confirmed COVID-19 among participants.

PI: Dr. John Maynard Conly, MD - W21C

Contact: john.conly@albertahealthservices.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Joseph Vayalumkal, MD (Sub-Investigator)
  • Dr. Bayan Missaghi, MD (Sub-Investigator)
  • Dr. Joseph Kim, MD (Sub-Investigator)
  • Dr. Oscar Larios, MD (Sub-Investigator)
  • Dr. Ranjani Somayaji, MD (Sub-Investigator)

Older adults living with frailty are at heightened risk of severe complications from COVID-19 and typically have worse outcomes following ICU stays than their non-frail counterparts. However, the combined impacts of frailty and COVID-19 on ICU-acquired weakness remain unknown. In addition, the extent of muscle and bone loss during an ICU stay for COVID-19 is likely an important predictor of incident frailty following discharge from ICU. This study will examine the interaction between muscle, bone, and frailty in COVID-19 positive patients who are admitted to the ICU. We will use opportunistic computed tomography (CT) image analysis to understand the impact of muscle and bone on frailty and ICU-acquired weakness associated with COVID-19. This work will contribute to improved understanding of the complexities of care and unique challenges for individual living with frailty and COVID-19 infection and may inform treatment of individuals living with frailty and COVID-19.

PI: Dr. Sarah Manske, PhD - Radiology, CSM

Contact: smanske@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Steve Boyd, PhD
  • Dr. Rick Walker, MD
  • Dr. Christopher Doig, MD
  • Dr. Christopher Grant, MD
  • Dr. Dawn Mackey, PhD (SFU)

 

SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 in children admitted to Canadian Hospitals: Understanding clinical spectrum and severity. A Paediatric Investigators Collaborative Network on Infections in Canada (PICNIC) study. This multicenter retrospective/prospective observational study will assess the clinical spectrum and severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection in hospitalized children and determine risk factors for disease severity in children. The primary outcomes are severe disease (ICU admission, length of stay) and disease-related complications. Potential predictor variables of interest include age, sex, immunosuppression, comorbidities, medication use, laboratory markers and treatments.

PI: Dr. Suzette Cooke, MD - Section of Hospital Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics

Contact: suzette.cooke@ahs.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Tammie Dewan, MD

The ABCCC Study has three aims. First, to establish a prospective cohort study of all children in Alberta who are tested for or diagnosed with COVID-19 and measure health outcomes. Second, to conduct a multiomic evaluation of blood and other body fluids in children with symptomatic COVID-19 at the time of illness and in convalescence. Third, to evaluate the adaptive immune response to COVID-19 in infected children, as well as in healthy, apparently uninfected, controls.

PI: Dr. Jim Kellner, MD - Community Health Sciences, CSM

Contact: Joslyn.Gray@ahs.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Susanna Benseler, MD, PhD - Pediatrics 
  • Dr. Byron Berenger, MD - Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
  • Dr. Francois Bernier, MD - Genetics
  • Dr. Jaime Blackwood, MD - Pediatrics
  • Dr. Jason Cabaj, MD - Community Health Sciences, AHS Medical Officer of Health
  • Dr. Eliana Castillo, MD - Medicine 
  • Dr. Cora Constantinescu, MD - Pediatrics
  • Dr. Suzette Cooke, MD - Pediatrics
  • Dr. Michael Esser, MD, PhD - Pediatrics
  • Dr. Stephen Freedman, MD - Pediatrics
  • Dr. Nils Forkert, PhD - Radiology
  • Dr. Marvin Fritzler, MD, PhD - Medicine
  • Dr. Jia Hu, MD - Community Health Sciences, AHS Medical Officer of Health
  • Dr. Ari Joffe, MD - Pediatrics, University of Alberta
  • Dr. Adam Kirton, MD - Pediatrics
  • Dr. Susan Kuhn, MD - Pediatrics
  • Dr. Thierry Lacaze-Masmonteil,MD, PhD - Neonatology
  • Dr.Deborah Marshall, PhD - Community Health Sciences
  • Dr. Sheila McDonald,PhD - Pediatrics
  • Dr. Jillian Parboosingh, PhD - Genetics
  • Dr. Joan Robinson, MD - Pediatrics, University of Alberta
  • Dr. Graham Thompson, MD - Pediatrics
  • Dr. Marinka Twilt, MD, PhD - Pediatrics
  • Dr. Otto Vanderkooi, MD - Pediatrics

Health care workers will be asked to complete an electronic survey to determine how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected work and household activities.

PI: Dr. Sofia Ahmed, PhD - Medicine, CSM

Contact: alexa.desjarlais@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Sandra Dumanski
  • Dr. Jayna Holroyd-Leduc, MD
  • Dr. Kara Nerenberg, MD
  • Dr. Colleen Norris, PhD
  • Dr. Louise Pilote, MD, Phd
  • Dr. Doreen Rabi, MD
  • Dr. Valeria Raparelli, MD, PhD
  • Dr. Shannon Ruzycki, MD

Multicenter Canadian study with primary objective to collect clinical data from pediatric patients across Canada with congenital heart disease who have been diagnosed with or investigated for COVID-19. Data collected will be used to support decision making for the clinical care of patients, provide evidence to support whether or not children who have been born with heart disease are at increased risk of COVID-19 and if there are particular risk factors for severe infection in this population.

PI: Dr. Erika Vohries, MD - Pediatrics; Dr. Kevin Harris, MD - UBC

Contact: erika.vorhies@ahs.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • BC Children's Hospital (UBC)

Investigators at the University of Calgary are collaborating with other Canadian centers through the Canadian Treatments for COVID-19 (CATCO) trial in conjunction with the global World Health Organization (WHO) SOLIDARITY Trial collaborative to urgently and rapidly investigate novel treatment options for patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Such a collaboration offers Albertans access to potential therapies which may otherwise be unavailable, while contributing to the global scientific community as to the efficacy of such treatments.

PI: Dr. Alain Tremblay, MD - Department of Medicine, CSM

Contact: alain.tremblay@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Robert Folwer, MD
  • Dr. Srinivas Murthy, MD
  • Dr. John Conly, MD
  • Dr. Rachel Lim, MD
  • Dr. Ranjani Somayaji, MD
  • Dr. Ken Parhar, MD

Prone positioning improves survival for critically ill patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) who require invasive mechanical ventilation in the intensive care unit. Prone positioning may also improve oxygen saturations in hypoxemic, non-intubated patients with ARDS but there are few studies to support this practice. The CORONA Trial is a multi-centre randomized trial that will investigate whether regular prone positioning improves clinical outcomes for hypoxemic patients who have do-not-intubate goals of care compared to usual care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

PI: Dr. Jason Weatherald, MD - Community Health Sciences, CSM

Contact: jean.marks@ahs.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Ken Parhar, MD
  • Dr. Kevin Solverson, MD
  • Dr. Kerri Johannson, MD
  • Dr. Luke Rannelli, MD
  • Dr. Patrick Mitchell, MD
  • Dr. Ben Wilson, MD
  • Dr. Kara Nerenberg, MD
  • Dr. Tom Stelfox, MD, PhD
  • Dr. Kirsten Fiest, PhD
  • Dr. Dan Niven, MD, PhD
  • Dr. Rachel Lim, MD
  • Dr. Alain Tremblay, MD
  • Dr. Waleed Alhazzani, MD

Social Impact

Motivations to practice social distancing and isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic

This study seeks to better understand the individual motivators behind adhering versus not adhering to the recommendations for social distancing and isolation.

PI: Tavis Campbell, PhD - Clinical Psychology, Faculty of Arts

Contact: chelsea.moran1@ucalgary.ca 

This research is looking at three discrete areas in which policies are being generated, communicated, and implemented; system level communication and implementation, primary care preparedness and acute care knowledge transfer.This research is aimed at providing real-time, sociologically informed feedback into the province’s institutions of public health, acute care, and primary care.

PI: Dr. Myles Leslie, PhD - Community Health Services, School of Public Policy, Dr. John Conly, MD - Cumming School of Medicine, W21C 

Contact: myles.leslie@ucalgary.ca

Assessing how the COVID-19 outbreak impacts health-care delivery for pediatric patients and their families. Those being treated for illness or health/mental health challenge are at risk for a wide range of concerns including: isolation, heightened anxiety around infection, fear, financial hardship for their families, reduced access to services, and challenges related to stigma, and social acceptance. This study will offer recommendations for practice, policy development and health emergency contingency planning.

PI: Dr. David Nicholas, PhD - Faculty of Social Work

Contact: nicholas@ucalgary.ca

Big data, networks and artificial intelligence (AI). We will manually curate the patient-level data of more than 10,000 Covid-19 cases including >600 child cases from the case reports on official websites of 28 China's provincial public health agencies. These cases contain contact-tracing information which allows us to piece together chains/networks of transmission. We will obtain another Covid-19 cohort in Alberta to compare it with the Chinese cohort. We also access machine-readable datasets in the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19) supported by the US government.

Objectives: To identify and examine the impact of key-spreading social contact patterns on Covid-19 transmission networks, and develop intervention strategies to prevent the virus spread for kids and adults, respectively.

PI: Dr. Edwin Wang, PhD - Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, CSM

Contact: edwin.wang@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Gary Martin (Department of Physiology and Pharmacology
  • Dr. Bryan Yipp (Department of Critical Care Medicine)
  • Dr. Marv Fritzler (Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)
  • Dr. Antoine Dufour (Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)

This ongoing project examining social support, social barriers, and social outcomes related to physical activity participation among older adults, particularly those who are vulnerable to social isolation. This project has been expanded to include examining experiences of older adults who are unable to participate in group physical activity recreation opportunities due to COVID-19. Researchers are also planning further proposals to look at how social distancing during COVID-19 affects older adults’ experiences with physical activity and social participation, and implications for their well-being.

PI: Dr. Meghan McDonough, PhD - Faculty of Kinesiology 

Contact: meghan.mcdonough@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Jennifer Hewson (Faculty of Social Work)
  • Dr. Cari Din (Faculty of Kinesiology)
  • Dr. Ann Toohey (Deparment of Community Health Sciences)
  • Dr. Peter Crocker (University of British Colombia)
  • City of Calgary
  • Calgary Recreation
  • Calgary Neighborhoods

Received funding through the CIHR Rapid Response Competition. Their project focuses on understanding the social and cultural factors contributing to public knowledge and perceptions around COVID-19. The ultimate goal of their work is to educate, engage and empower members of the public to be informed stewards of their health during the current and future disease outbreaks.

PI: Dr. Jenna Parsons Leigh, PhD - Critical Care Medicine, CSM

CO-PI: Dr. Tom Stelfox, MD - Critical Care Medicine, CSM, Dr. Kristen Fiest, PhD - Critical Care Medicine, CSM

Contact: nubia.zepeda1@ucalgary.ca

This online survey investigates the possible effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canadians' relationships with others and is part of a global effort to understand how the pandemic is affecting people's social lives.

PI: Susan Boon, PhD - Psychology, Faculty of Arts

Contact: lovelab@ucalgary.ca

This study is currently recruiting. Learn more on the Participate in Research website. 

Study on the nature and effects of telework on individuals' teamwork experiences during the covid-19 outbreak.

PI: Dr. Thomas O'Neill, PhD - Psychology

Contact: hannalisa.handke@ucalgary.ca

On March 16, 2020, 435 students from the Werklund School of Education were to begin their four- week practicum in various schools across Alberta. Due to the COVID- 19 crisis, this face to face practicum was cancelled, and the decision was made to move the fully experiential course into an online environment. While other universities across Canada cancelled or postponed their field experience courses, we decided to continue with the course but adapt it for an online environment. This mixed-methods research study will investigate the design and delivery of this course as well as future implications for online instruction in teacher education programs.

PI: Dr. Theodora Kapoyannis, PhD - Werklund School of Education

Contact: tfoscolo@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators:

  • Dr. Patricia Danyluk, PhD
  • Dr. Astrid Kendrick, PhD

The way information about government programs is communicated, how programs are designed and delivered can influence outcomes. Involving stakeholders like community organizations in the policy-making process ensures that individuals with disabilities are integrated into community life on their terms and that their priorities, goals and aspirations are prioritized. The core objective is to understand the approaches through which the Government of Alberta could best engage community organizations to co-design policies and programs for persons and families of children with disabilities. This research also seeks to understand the critical expectations of decision-makers from the community organizations during a pandemic.

PI: Dr. Jennifer Zwicker, PhD - School of Public Policy

Contact: katrina.milaney@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Katrina Milaney, PhD
  • Dr. Meaghan Edwards, PhD
  • Ash Seth

Vulnerability arises in families when they cannot access evidence-based practices needed for daily functioning, vulnerability is exacerbated during a pandemic. Collaborations between researchers and community organizations have the ability to result in social and political action. We are developing a collective social network and platform to facilitate connections between community, policy makers, and academic researchers. A collaborative approach that investigates community-relevant knowledge and integrates this knowledge into action would improve the overall wellness of vulnerable families. The purpose of this research is to investigate the challenges faced by community-based service providers during a pandemic as they attempt partnerships with academic researchers to develop innovative solutions.

PI: Dr. Jennifer Zwicker, PhD - School of Public Policy

Contact: katrina.milaney@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Katrina Milaney, PhD
  • Dr. Meaghan Edwards, PhD
  • Jessica Kohek

 

The current COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a wide variety of drastic policy interventions. These include the implementation of quarantine controls, social distancing, travel restrictions, service closures and contact tracing programs (interventions that we collectively refer to herein as population-based control measures – PBCMs). In response to this crisis, the University of Calgary has created a COVID-19 Analytics Group (UC-COVID-AG) that is currently working with decision-makers at the municipal, national and international level, providing advice on policy measures required to control the pandemic.

PI: Dr. Bill Ghali, MD - Medicine, CSM

Contact: tyler.williamson@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Tyler Williamson, PhD
  • Dr. Bev Dahlby, PhD
  • Nishan Sharma
  • Dr. Katrina Milaney, PhD
  • Dr. Christine Friedenreich, PhD
  • Dr. PG Forest, PhD
  • Dr. Marcello Tonelli, MD
  • Dr. Jon Meddings, MD
  • Dr. John Conly, MD
  • Dr. Jim Kellner, MD
  • Kate Hamilton
  • Dr. Ronald Kneebone, PhD
  • Danielle Southern

This study examines older adults' experiences with dance-based physical activity programming, and implications for well-being, physical literacy, and social relationships. The project includes talking to participants about experiences of not being able to attend the dance classes during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is exploring whether options for online delivery would be feasible for older adults.

PI: Dr. Sarah Kenny, PhD - Kinesiology

Contact: kennys@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Meghan McDonough, PhD
  • Dr. Cari Din, PhD
  • Dr. Krista White, PhD

This study will utilize a community-based participatory approach that engages the Indigenous community, focuses on the priorities identified during previously held engagement sessions, and seeks to improve the health outcomes of the homeless Indigenous population with severe alcohol use disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will employ a mixed-methods, pre-post research design rooted in a realist Indigenous methodology and will use a combination of Indigenous methodologies such as sharing circles and oral histories and implementation science such as valid and reliable measures.

PI: Dr. Katrina Milaney, PhD - Community Health Sciences, CSM

Contact: katrina.milaney@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Dr. Bernie Pauly, PhD, University of Victoria
  • Lisa Zaretsky

Older Chinese Immigrants in Calgary: Psychological and Social Well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic

PI: Dr. Christine Ann Walsh, PhD - Social Work

Contact: cwalsh@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators: 

  • Jackie Liu
  • Qianyun Wang

In this project, we analyze the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on global supply chains through Eikon data sets for overseas shipments.

PI: Dr. Osman Alp, PhD - Haskayne School of Business

Contact: osman.alp@haskayne.ucalgary.ca

The project examines how a representative sample of North Americans seek out and evaluate information from medical and government professionals and from their own experience through friends, family, and the media over the next year. We will also examine individuals decision making style, risk preferences, and statistical knowledge.

PI: Dr. Justin Weinhardt, PhD - Haskayne School of Business

Contact: justin.weinhardt@haskayne.ucalgary.ca

The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging is Canada's largest and most comprehensive study on aging. There are over 50,000 participants enrolled across Canada in all 10 provinces. The CLSA COVID-19 study has enrolled 29,000 of these participants who have completed baseline questionnaires, followed by weekly, biweekly and monthly questionnaires (online or by telephone) for the next 6 months. The study will examine the experiences of older adults during this pandemic, exploring how they cope, the impacts on their physical and mental health, and changes to how they access health-care services. This study will make an important contribution to understanding the impact of this pandemic on the health and wellness of the Canadian population, in particular adults over the age of 50. This study may also be able to inform longer term health policies to support Canadians if there are subsequent waves of this coronavirus. 

PI: Dr. Parminder Raina, PhD - Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University

Contact: mcmilljm@ucalgary.ca

Other Collaborators:

  • Dr. Jacqueline McMillan
  • Dr. David Hogan