Scottish university launches fund to address the challenges created by coronavirus pandemic

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A SCOTTISH university has launched a fund to address the urgent challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic raising over £1m.

A University fund launched to address urgent challenges created by the Covid-19 virus has raised more than £1m.

The Covid-19 Partnerships Fund was launched in May to bolster efforts by the University of Edinburgh as it responds to the pandemic.

The funds have been donated by University alumni, supporters and staff for projects which address the Covid-19 pandemic.

One of the recipients of the fund is a project to identify new treatments for Covid-19 by repurposing existing drugs.

Use of digital technology for the detection of Covid-19
The University of Edinburgh has launched a new fund to help with research Photo by Fushion Medical Animation

A team of 150 researchers, led by Professor Kev Dhaliwal, is focusing on the inflammatory pathways that lead directly to lung injury, associated with the most serious Covid-19 cases.

Researchers are attempting to block damaging types of inflammation in the early stages of the disease to change the course of infection and prevent the need for a ventilator.

The fund is also raising money for the University’s Community Grants Scheme, which supports grass-roots charities to provide essential services for those hardest hit by the effects of the virus in Edinburgh.

Projects supported by the Scheme have distributed emergency food supplies, provided IT equipment for families in need, and delivered support for carers.

Support from the fund has also come from foundations and the corporate sector, including Santander Universities.

Matt Hutnell, Director of Santander Universities, said: “We’re delighted to collaborate with our university partners in a way which increases their response effort and we look forward to continuing to work with them on supporting both students and the broader higher education community with further initiatives over the coming months.”

Chris Cox, Vice-Principal of Philanthropy and Advancement at the University of Edinburgh, said: “The way our University community has come together to support the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic has offered some positivity and hope in what has been an exceptionally challenging time for so many people.”

“We are enormously grateful to everyone who has taken the time to support the Covid-19 Partnerships Fund so far.

“We hope that donors continue to give to the fund, which will help our researchers better understand and treat the virus, and help us reach out to our local community and supporting our students during these challenging circumstances.”