Research frozen by COVID-19 begins to thaw – The Age

By daniellenierenberg

Last week, she was given the all-clear to start re-entering the lab after it closed in March due to COVID-19 restrictions.

"We fired up the lab and turned everything back on. It felt fantastic to be back working towards research goals," she said.

Professor Sharon Ricardo's lab was closed under COVID-19 restrictions.Credit:Jason South

Over the last few months, she has been churning through grant writing and Zoom meetings.

She said her days spent video-conferencing and doing administrative work were "tiring but productive".

Professor Ricardo said a healthy balance between laboratory work and paperwork was important to her and her team as they "became researchers because we get excited about what we do".

They produce three-dimensional miniature kidneys from skin cells useful for disease modelling, called organoids.

The organoids are made by collecting patients' skin cells, developing them into stem cells, and "adding factors to the cell cultures to form mini kidneys," she said.

According to Professor Ricardo, the closure of the laboratories has seriously impeded some of her students' research.

One of her PhD students had one organoid experiment left to go when the restrictions came in to play and labs were closed.

"We had to freeze the lines and turn off all the incubators," she said.

The Universitys labs are reopening gradually. Hygiene and social distancing measures were being taken to ensure the safety of staff and students, she said.

"You go to the lab, perform what you need to do, and go home," said Professor Ricardo. Shes received strict instructions not to hang around the office.

Even with the new social distancing measures, she is very excited to be back with her colleagues.

"Every time I see somebody at work, I feel like I am seeing my best friend," she said.


Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said COVID-19 has "upended almost every area of endeavour" across the university research sector.

"Australias researchers have pivoted their work to join the community in fighting the virus, from world-leading vaccine and treatment research to work on all aspects of the deep social and economic impact of the crisis," she said.

The pandemic has been devastating for the university research community. "The loss to university R&D [research and development] is estimated at $2.5 billion in 2020, placing at risk at least 38 per cent of research salaries," said Ms Jackson.

While specific regulations around reopening physical research facilities differ for each state and university, Ms Jackson said they are closely following guidance from medical authorities and government.

See more here:
Research frozen by COVID-19 begins to thaw - The Age

Related Post

categoriaSkin Stem Cells commentoComments Off on Research frozen by COVID-19 begins to thaw – The Age | dataMay 21st, 2020


This author published 4012 posts in this site.


FacebookTwitterEmailWindows LiveTechnoratiDeliciousDiggStumbleponMyspaceLikedin

Comments are closed.

Personalized Gene Medicine | Mesenchymal Stem Cells | Stem Cell Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis | Stem Cell Treatments | Board Certified Stem Cell Doctors | Stem Cell Medicine | Personalized Stem Cells Therapy | Stem Cell Therapy TV | Individual Stem Cell Therapy | Stem Cell Therapy Updates | MD Supervised Stem Cell Therapy | IPS Stem Cell Org | IPS Stem Cell Net | Genetic Medicine | Gene Medicine | Longevity Medicine | Immortality Medicine | Nano Medicine | Gene Therapy MD | Individual Gene Therapy | Affordable Stem Cell Therapy | Affordable Stem Cells | Stem Cells Research | Stem Cell Breaking Research