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COVID-19 Research Funding Opportunities

COVID-19 Research Funding Opportunities and Funding-Related Information. The Office of Research & Innovation has compiled a list of COVID-19 research funding opportunities, guidance and funding-related information. We encourage you to review and stay abreast of federal funding updates and funding opportunities through sponsor websites and listservs.

Learn more.

Novel Coronavirus Advisory for Research

Actions to address the potential impact of COVID-19 on research

March 9, 2020
From the Office of the Vice Dean for Research
For All Chairs, Principal Investigators, and Members of Research Teams

As communicated by President Fry in his emails of March 2nd and 9th, Drexel University has established a coordinated effort to respond to current and emerging threats associated with SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 disease. Information and resources can be found at All faculty, students and staff at Drexel should check the link above regularly for updates.

In addition to the resources listed on that page, the National Institutes of Health has links to the science and clinical trials for COVID-19.

This advisory is directed specifically to the research community at the College of Medicine (COM), with the goal of mitigating disruptions to our research enterprise. It is complementary to any communications from Charles B. Cairns, MD, Dean of COM, and Aleister Saunders, PhD, Executive Vice Provost for Research and Innovation.

1. Protect yourself, the Drexel community and the community-at-large.

Faculty, students, post-docs and staff should stay home and contact their health care provider if they present with symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Supervisors should send employees or staff home if they arrive at work with symptoms. Contact our Drexel Human Resources Business Partner with any issues or concerns. Expect more information from HR or other University-level sources as time progresses. In general, everyone should minimize physical contact, such as handshaking, and sharing of food or drink with others. Additional information is available at the websites noted above.

2. Update and confirm communications plans.

Communication plans should be updated at three levels: departments; research teams/laboratory groups; and with the Office of the Vice Dean for Research (OVDR) in COM. Please provide to the OVDR a list containing the Drexel email address, Drexel phone number and cell phone number for the Chair, the Department Administrator, faculty members, and any other persons designated as department-level persons-of-contact (POC). Contact information for OVDR will be provided for distribution within departments.

  • Chairs, please review existing plans for your department for emergency preparedness to determine if modifications are required to reduce the impact of disruption from COVID-19.
  • PI's are responsible for determining coverage or shutting down research studies, as needed, if team members become ill and must stay home.
  • The Vice Dean for Research is the liaison for research preparedness for COM with the Executive Vice Provost for Research and Innovation and the Provost's Office. OVDR welcomes inquiries from the chairs and other members of the research community and will communicate updates in policies and protocols as they become available.
  • Faculty or staff members overseeing clinical research protocols, whether active or in the process of closing, should provide contact information to OVDR.

3. Plan for restricted access to buildings where research is conducted.

Drexel University is discussing plans for access, if any, of essential personnel to buildings where research is conducted, should those buildings or the university, as a whole, be closed. Information will be updated when available. Chairs should create lists of essential personnel for their department, should a limited access policy be instituted.

4. Plan for limitations on transportation to campus.

It is possible that public transit via SEPTA would be limited or shutdown for some period of time. Determine who requires public transit to commute, especially those who live too far to walk. Competition for ride-share and taxis could become difficult, if those services continue. Note that city and regional authorities have not suggested that transit will be disrupted, but it would be prudent to consider this possibility. Plan within research teams and departments accordingly for reductions in workforce.

5. Establish and test methods for telecommuting and conferencing.

All PI's and their teams (research faculty, staff, graduate students, post-docs) should prepare for working on data analysis, grant and manuscript preparation, etc., from remote locations, if necessary. Methods for conducting laboratory meetings through Zoom or other platforms should be tested in advance. Please note that access to, storage and treatment of sensitive information (, including data governed by HIPAA regulations (, must comply with University and other policies for security of research data.

6. Procure critical supplies for research, to the extent possible.

The supply chain is already stressed and is expected to undergo more serious challenges. If resources and space permit, consider ordering critical supplies now, in excess of immediate need. It is likely that selected items will be on restricted allocation or unavailable through standard processes. Drexel has established relationships with some vendors to get priority on some of those items. If you have difficulty, email If you have problems through that mechanism, please contact OVDR and we will attempt to help through Procurement Services.

7. Schedule studies carefully, with back-up coverage by personnel, involving the use of laboratory animals in research.

Information about University Laboratory Animal Resources has been released (3/9) by Dr. Saunders. It includes a template for a contingency plan for working with ULAR. Follow-up information and specific questions about ongoing or scheduled research should be directed to Richard Huneke, DVM, MPH, DACLAM, Executive Director of ULAR. Please note that veterinary medications must be ordered through Dr. Huneke and many of these are in limited supply. Also, discuss with Dr. Huneke how to protect germlines for bioengineered animals if you have not already frozen necessary biological materials.

8. Protect samples and cell lines.

Consider whether experimental protocols and capacity permit freezing of duplicate samples during the time-course of the study. Take precautions to protect cell lines.

9. Aim to get grant and other sponsored contract proposals for submission to the Office of Research and Innovation earlier than the usual deadline.

The University is putting mechanisms in place to continue full support for all aspects of administering grants and sponsored projects during the challenge by COVID-19. Anticipate a statement from Dr. Saunders.

Thank you for your attention to these items as we work together as a community to optimize health and safety, and minimize interference with the research enterprise.

Kenny J. Simansky, PhD
Vice Dean for Research

About the Office of the Vice Dean for Research

The Office of the Vice Dean for Research serves to support clinical and basic research activities, works with departments and interdisciplinary programs to develop and implement research, facilitates translational research and promotes mentoring to advance the training of physicians/scientists.

The vice dean for research steers and supports faculty research efforts, influencing opportunities for discovery by our medical and biomedical graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, medical residents and medical fellows. Noreen Robertson, DMD, associate vice dean for research, and Richard Huneke, DVM, MPH, executive director of University Laboratory Animal Resources, serve complementary missions within the Office of the Vice Dean to foster pre-clinical and clinical research within the institution. We are committed to bridging the superb clinical expertise and world-class research and educational capabilities of the medical school to enhance our progressive, high-quality medical education, scientific research and patient care.

The purpose of these web pages is to serve as a focal point for research at Drexel University College of Medicine. We are dedicated to providing research support to investigators. The links to the left will provide you with information and resources. Note that Drexel University's Office of Research provides certain administrative services for the Drexel University College of Medicine research program.

Q&A: Kenny Simansky, PhD, Vice Dean for Research, Professor, Department of Pharmacology & Physiology

Research News & Announcements

Project Awardees — COVID-19 Rapid Response Research & Development Fund

Drexel's Rapid Response Research & Development Fund was designated for urgent action, short-term projects focused on COVID-19 related health and health-related research and development. The enthusiasm and the level of response to the Rapid Response Research & Development Fund was incredible. We received 40 submissions. With only a limited amount of funding available, selecting projects amongst this strong group of submissions was very challenging. Read more.

Read Emergency Updates from Drexel Global Engagement

  • Update on Drexel COVID-19 Monitoring and Restrictions
  • Drexel Restricts South Korea for All Travelers
  • Italy Added to Restricted Travel List
  • And more...

Related NIH Opportunities - Coronavirus

Examples of coronavirus research supported by NIH from NIH RePORTER NIAID support for new research in response to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-2019 NIAID Funding News, Feb 19, 2020; Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) regarding the Availability of Urgent Competitive Revisions for Research on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) (NOT-AI-20-030). Please visit the NIH website to learn more.

New Beyond the Bedside Podcast

DrExcel Health is proud to present our first podcast episode for the semester with our esteemed guest, Dr. Esther Chernak. Dr. Chernak is the course Director for the Frontiers program at Drexel University College of Medicine, and is the Director of the MD/MPH program. Her work spans over 2 decades of involvement in the Philadelphia health system. The episode can be accessed at

Read more Research News & Announcements.

Featured Student Research

Andrew Matamoros, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Program Alum

Andrew Matamoros
Molecular & Cell Biology & Genetics Program Alum

"My thesis work attempted to add labile microtubule mass to the regenerating axon by protecting the labile regions of the microtubules. This approach would mimic a state of axonal growth when labile microtubule mass is abundant. To accomplish this, I knocked-down a microtubule severing protein called fidgetin. You can think of fidgetin as gardening sheers that are used to prune plant growth; knocking-down fidgetin results in a notable boost in the microtubule mass of the axon via preservation of the labile mass from fidgetin’s severing activity. As a result, axons grow faster, even on unfavorable substrates associated with spinal cord injury (SCI) as well as in vivo following a nerve-crush injury." Read more about Andrew's research in The Hillock newsletter.

Kelly Whelan, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Program Alum

Kelly Whelan
Molecular & Cell Biology & Genetics Program Alum

"I looked at the role of hypoxia and hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) in mammary oncogenesis and morphogenesis. Mauricio had noticed that in the mammary gland, when you have tumors, they express markers of hypoxia, or low oxygen levels. That makes sense because, as a tumor grows and grows, it outstrips the existing resources, so then you might not have enough blood there, which creates a hypoxic area. The question became: 'Is that hypoxia a byproduct of that uncontrolled growth, or is it actually promoting tumor formation?'" Read more about Kelly.

Meet Our Faculty

Kimberly Dougherty, PhD

Dr. Kimberly Dougherty is an associate professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy and has been here for five years studying rhythm generating circuitry in the spinal cord. Dr. Dougherty is an engaging young scientist who recently reached the exciting milestone of graduating her first doctoral student. Read more.

Dr. Kimberly Dougherty - Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy

Eileen Collyer, PhD

Dr. Eileen Collyer has had a colorful research journey prior to joining the department here at Drexel. After completing her PhD studies in Chile, she did her first postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Veronica Tom. Read more.

Eileen Collyer, PhD - Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy

Kenny Simansky, PhD - Vice Dean for Research

Kenny J. Simansky, PhD
Vice Dean for Research; Professor of Pharmacology & Physiology

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Beyond the Bedside Podcast by DrExcel Health
Beyond the Bedside Podcast

Exploring the intersectionality between Medicine, Business, Technology and many more cross-disciplines, Beyond the Bedside focuses on capturing the nuances of ever-evolving patient care. Beyond the Bedside is a podcast series produced by DrExcel Health.
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