The University of Toronto will support 31 research projects through the $8.4-million Toronto COVID-19 Action Fund – set up less than a month ago to support high-impact research by U of T and its hospital partners that contributes to the global fight against the novel coronavirus.

Photo of Warren Chan

Professor Warren Chan, director of the Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering, is leading one of 31 projects selected for funding through the Toronto COVID-19 Action Fund. (Photo credit: NSERC)

The projects, which range from medical interventions to measures aimed at supporting the economy and vulnerable populations, were chosen on the basis of their potential to have a positive impact on individuals, communities and public health systems within a timeframe of a year or less.

They were selected from among 338 applicants via a fast-tracked, peer-reviewed competition. Less than 30 days elapsed between the creation of the fund and the winning projects being announced.

The funding for these and other projects was drawn from U of T and other university sources, including Medicine by Design, the McLaughlin Centre, partner hospitals and philanthropic donors. Medicine by Design’s contribution is supporting research most closely associated with its focus on regenerative medicine.

“The Toronto COVID-19 Action Fund is a testament to the University of Toronto’s unique ability to quickly mobilize its resources, engage the creativity and ingenuity of its researchers and draw on the strength of its partnerships with partner hospitals to respond to the most urgent public health, economic and societal challenge of our time,” said Vivek Goel, U of T’s vice-president, research and innovation, and strategic initiatives.

“COVID-19 presents an array of unprecedented global problems that require urgent attention and expertise from experts in a wide variety of disciplines – from medical specialists and public health researchers to economists, social scientists and mathematicians.

“We are confident these projects will each, in their own way, make important contributions to the global fight against this pandemic.”

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