COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 RESPONSE

COVID-19 Response Efforts Led by the State of Texas and its Two Flagship Universities:
The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University


Texas’ two flagship universities — The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University — are among the best in the world at academic and scientific research. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, these two universities have deployed significant resources to help the state monitor and fight this virus. Below is an overview of some of their efforts.

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UT Austin researchers created the first 3D atomic level map of the virus' spike protein. This map was widely shared with other scientists and is being used in at least four leading vaccine candidates. Learn more about the 3D map.

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UT Austin was able to create this map quickly because of its scientists' prior experience with coronaviruses, like SARS and MERS, and because of access to CPRIT funded equipment. Because of UT Austin’s ability to recruit top scientists and its access to this technology, a potential vaccine was developed just 66 days after the virus’ genome sequence was published. No other potential vaccine has ever been developed so quickly. Learn more about the potential COVID-19 vaccine.

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UT Austin researchers have aided in the development of a process for treating critically ill patients by transfusing blood plasma from recovered patients. These processes are enabled by a UT Austin-developed sensitive and quantitative antibody test that allows providers to screen plasma from survivors to choose those with the highest levels of antibodies. The test has also led to a better understanding of the immune responses present in COVID-19 patients. Learn more about the antibody test developed for COVID-19.

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UT Austin is working to repurpose existing drugs that have already been approved by the FDA to make them more effective and efficient in treating COVID-19. Learn more about the new drug delivery method.

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Researchers at UT Austin are exploring treatments and coatings of PPE — specfically masks and face shields — to enable them to more effectively capture and inactivate the coronavirus. Learn more about making masks more effective

Learn more about UT's response to COVID-19

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Texas A&M is leading a world-class group of institutions, including the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Harvard’s School of Public Health, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, and the Baylor College of Medicine, to repurpose a vaccine (BCG) used to treat bladder cancer that could also be widely available for use against COVID-19 as it has already been proven safe for others to use. Learn more about the potential COVID-19 treatment.

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Texas A&M researchers, with support from the National Science Foundation, are seeking to develop a smart ventilation control system to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in public buildings. Learn more about the smart ventilation control system.

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Texas A&M researchers are developing a device that can be used to rapidly identify antibodies produced by human B cells that can neutralize infection by SARSCoV- 2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Learn more about the device to identify antibodies.

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A Texas A&M Chemist was the first to I.D. the drug Remdesivir, now being used in Texas hospitals as the most effective treatment option against COVID-19. The drug has shown promise of speeding up the recovery of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Learn more about Remdesivir.

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The FDA approved two human clinical trials for an inhaled drug to protect against COVID-19, developed by scientists at Texas A&M and MD Anderson. Learn more about the inhaled therapy trials.