Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

COVID-19 virus (Credit FrankundFrei, Pixabay)
Update on operations from the CRUK Cambridge Centre.

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and Government advice, cancer labs that are part of the CRUK Major Centre at the University of Cambridge, Wellcome Genome Campus, Babraham Research Campus and other affiliated institutes are now closed for all but essential operations.

The safety, health and wellbeing of our Centre members remains our top priority. Members of our Centre who are clinically qualified, including many ordinarily engaged in lab research, are working tirelessly to ensure cancer patients at Cambridge University Hospitals and Royal Papworth NHS Trusts receive the treatment, care and support they need at this challenging time.

Many of our researchers and support staff are working remotely where possible, and we are endeavouring to maintain as much operational continuity as possible.

Although our cancer research activity will be limited severely at this time, we are incredibly grateful to colleagues across the Centre who are offering their skills and expertise to help the global scientific community in various new approaches to understand and control COVID-19.

These projects include:

COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium
A £20 million investment administered by the University of Cambridge to map the spread of the disease. The COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium – comprised of the NHS, Public Health Agencies, Wellcome Sanger Institute, and numerous academic institutions – will deliver large-scale, rapid sequencing of the cause of the disease and share intelligence with hospitals, regional NHS centres and the Government.
More information

AI Support For COVID-19 Diagnosis
To support a rapid diagnosis of COVID-19 a team of Cambridge researchers are eager to bring expertise in AI for imaging (in the Centre for Mathematical Imaging in Healthcare) together with expertise in radiology and clinical imaging (in Addenbrooke’s and Royal Papworth) to develop an algorithm that can rapidly suggest a diagnosis to the clinician from an x-ray or CT scan from different countries in the world.
More information

Register of molecular biology skills
If you are a researcher with skills and expertise in molecular biology and would like to volunteer your services for our local or national COVID-19 response, please complete this form.

All University offers of support
The University has set up a dedicated web page to coordinate all offers of help across the University, such as establishing research collaborations, donating equipment or funding research.
More information

Government call for support at testing labs in Milton Keynes, Cheshire and Glasgow
To increase testing for COVID-19, the Government has significantly expanded its laboratory capacity and staffing. As the testing programme ramps up further, they require additional experienced laboratory staff.
More information

NHS Volunteering
NHS Volunteer Responders has been set up to support the NHS and the care sector during the COVID-19 outbreak. Volunteers will be asked to support the 1.5m people in England who are at most risk from the virus to stay well in a variety of ways including:

  • Being a Telephone Companion
  • Collecting and delivering food/prescriptions/medications
  • Transporting patients
  • Transporting supplies and medicines

More information

Useful links
UK Government advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

NHS advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Cancer Research UK advice on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and cancer information
Addenbrooke’s Hospital Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for patients
Royal Papworth Hospital Coronavirus advice for patients

24 Mar 2020