At UT Health San Antonio, more than two dozen investigators are now actively studying COVID-19 in their laboratories, leading multisite clinical trials under the auspices of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) or building human repositories and patient data.

Several of the pilot projects underway allow the research teams to test a hypothesis and potentially use the findings to prepare a competitive federal grant proposal.

“Research targeting infectious diseases is an area of strategic priority at UT Health San Antonio,” said Andrea Giuffrida, Ph.D., vice president for research. “The goal of the seed funds awarded is to competitively position our investigators when they apply for larger federal grants.”

Across the globe, the research community has formed multidisciplinary teams to develop diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19, a disease with no approved drug to prevent or treat it. Currently, according to real time data curated by Trial Insights, there are 916 clinical trials worldwide involving 822 investigators, and U.S. scientists represent almost 10% of that number.

In a 2018 report underwritten by the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, the City of San Antonio, and the Texas Research & Technology Foundation, the consulting firm Frost & Sullivan noted that the study of infectious diseases is among the highest regarded research areas in San Antonio.