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The Division of Research has created a COVID-19 Research Index in response to a number of queries by faculty trying to contribute to COVID research, or some in the COVID area in need of specific collaborators. If you are in the process of applying for funding, have been awarded funding, or even in the planning stages, you are invited to supply information for the Index.

Click here to fill out the form and submit it for inclusion in the Research Index.

Research Guidance during COVID-19

Research Guidance during COVID-19

Research Index

Basic Laboratory Research Unrelated to Therapeutics
 
The Impact of COVID-19 on Platelet Function and Thrombosis Markers
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Fadi Khasawneh, Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: Given that hypercoagulable state associated with COVID-19, we are exploring initiating studies on the mechanistic impact of COVID-19 on platelets and thrombosis markers. We are not sure whether we have the infrastructure to do the studies in Kingsville and whether we will be able to get enough subjects to donate blood for our studies. We are in the process of gathering information, but welcome the opportunity to work with others and/or share resources our expertise.

 

Toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics of lead COVID-19 treatment GS-5734, male reproductive toxicity focus
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Dr. Tracy Clement, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: Some evidence has suggested a potential male reproductive toxicity with use of GS-5734. We are investigating toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic responses in rodents to determine what specific male reproductive responses may occur.

 

Wastewater Surveillance
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Shankar Chellam, College of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: Through collaboration, we are monitoring SARS-CoV2 in wastewater to understand its potential use for population/environmental surveillance.

 

Task2: Covid-19 Plasma Decontamination System
  • ​​Principal Investigator: David Staack, College of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: Perform basic research to see if plasma discharges and plasma generated reactive oxygen species (like ozone) can be used to disinfect personal protective equipment (PPE). A trailer based system for disinfecting large volumes (1000 articles per batch) of PPE will be designed. PPE (gowns, masks, faceshield, and respirators) will be tested for functionality and decontamination. Results will be used for emergency use application and seeking additional funding.

 

RAPID: Smart Ventilation Control May Reduce Infection Risk for COVID-19 in Public Buildings
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Zheng O'Neill, College of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: With proper measures, the built environment could help minimize the potential for COVID-19 infection, including smart and enhanced Heating, Ventilation, and Air-conditioning (HVAC) design and operations, higher humidity levels, surface cleaning and hygiene specification, spatial configuration, etc. This project aims to investigate the viability of a smart ventilation control system which could operate with a normal mode and an emergency “pandemic mode,” as needed, for common public buildings.

 

Resilience Study on Chemical Process Facilities during a Pandemic
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Qingsheng Wang, College of Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: We are working on how to model the resilience of a chemical process facility and improve its resilience during external events, such as COVID-19 and other disasters. The model will be used to control and predict a safe operation of the process.

 

Clinical Trials
 
Diagnostics, Vaccines, Therapeutics and Drug Development
 
Accelerated Testing for COVID-19 using Group Testing
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Krishna Narayanan, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: Extensive and frequent testing of symptomatic and asymptomatic people is widely believed to be important for implementing containment policies and to ensure that medical resources can be apportioned to different geographic regions appropriately. Pooling-based group testing schemes will be designed to reduce the number of tests required for both identifying infected people in a population and for obtaining coarse-grained population-level information about infection rates.

 

Long noncoding RNA MALAT1 ablation reverses sepsis in mouse: epitranscriptomic mechanisms and therapeutic application
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Yanan Tian, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: Sepsis is a disease with high mortality and morbidity, as can be seen in COVID-19 patients. This newly NIAID-funded research aims to investigate the molecular mechanism underpinning the sepsis and develop comprehensive approaches targeting the critical molecular mechanisms for treatment of sepsis.

 

A Novel Peptide Immunotherapy to Treat Severe, Late Stage SARS-COV-2 Infection
  • ​​Principal Investigator: M. Karen Newell-Rogers, Ph.D., College of Medicine, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: This DOD application proposes to study an immunotherapy, Competitive Antagonist Peptide (CAP), to treat life-threatening symptoms associated with severe COVID19. The rationale for use of CAP to fight COVID-19-syndromes is based on CAP’s dual capabilities to: (1) treat and resolve hyper-inflammation by reducing inflammatory cytokines (IL-1beta, IL-6, TNFalpha); and (2) expand CD8+ T cells. CAP's anti-inflammatory properties have been demonstrated in 4 pre-clinical models of inflammatory disease.

 

Vaccine Candidate Testing for iBio-IDRI
  • ​​Principal Investigator: James Samuel, College of Medicine, Department of Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: Working with iBio and IDRI to test several vaccines against SARS-Cov2 in mouse immunogenicty and protection studies.These results will support FDA-IND application for phase 1 clinical trial for lead formulation.

 

Large-scale functional analysis of antibody repertoires elicited by SARS-CoV-2
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Paul de Figueiredo, College of Medicine, Department of Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: This project is to develop and utilize a novel lab-on-a-chip system to determine the identity, functionality, and clonality of antibodies (Abs) elicited by SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19. The developed high-throughput system will enables fast, direct, functional assays that measure viral neutralization activities of Ab-producing cells.

 

A simple BLSL-1 model of COVID-19 lung damage and cytokine storm
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Richard Gomer, College of Science, Department of Biology, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: We developed a simple mouse model of COVID-19 damage, using oropharyngeal administration of a GU-rich RNA. Mice develop COVID-19-like lung damage and cytokine storm. As with patients, male mice develop more severe symptoms. Several potential therapeutics for fibrosis we developed also work remarkably well in this model. We are happy to teach people how to use this model.

 

Educational Research and Practice
 
Insecurity and Inequality in Academia: The Differential Impacts of COVID-19 on Work Conditions and Work-Life Balance among the Texas A&M Academic Community
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Cynthia Werner, ADVANCE/Dean of Faculties Office, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a rapid transformation of work conditions and work-life balance for university faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students. This mixed-methods, interdisciplinary study focuses on the differential impacts of COVID-19 on three particularly vulnerable groups: tenure-track faculty, academic professional track faculty, and future faculty.
    https://advance.tamu.edu/Research/Current-Research-Projects

 

RAPID: Supporting Responsible Action through COVID-19 Education
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Benjamin C Herman, College of Education & Human Development, Department of Teaching, Learning & Culture, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: Focusing on undergraduate students enrolled in biology courses at Texas A&M, this project seeks to determine how people conceptualize and respond to COVID-19, and then develop educative materials that prepare people to respond effectively to COVID-19. The project research and data driven educative materials will promote both content understanding and foster trust in STEM professionals and the knowledge they produce to improve personal and public decision-making regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The Great American Southwest Book Club: Engaging Rural Schools in STEM Education During a Pandemic
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Matt Baker, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: This four-prong approach to engage rural students and schools include: (1) establish a volunteer book club for 7th and 10th graders in which they receive books on regional topics related to grand challenges; (2) connect rural school leaders and teachers with rural school reform experts; (3) connect students in the region with STEM-based higher education opportunities; and (4) engage students with 4-H enrichment opportunities.

 

Se el Heroe (Be the Hero)
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Joseph R. Sharkey, School of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion & Community Health Sciences, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: The goal of Be the Hero is to reduce the infection and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among community health workers (CHW), farmworkers, food service providers, and their families in limited resource communities through a CHW-driven outreach program to improve mitigation knowledge, skills, self-efficacy, and behaviors. This project will develop, implement, and evaluate curricula in response to unique resources, cultural traditions, family practices, and other factors.

 

Effects of COVID-19 on Specific Populations
 
A multi-modal approach to COVID-19 therapy was associated with significant decreases in both inpatient and outpatient case fatality rates in Honduras
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Sidney Ontai, College of Medicine, Department of Primary Care Medicine & Population Health, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: Publicly available case fatality data were analyzed using statistical process control to evaluate possible effects of a novel multi mechanism approach to COVID-19 therapy using easily available medications (colchicine, ivermectin, prednisone, aspirin) in Honduras.

 

Environmental Effects on Viable Virus Transport in Ventilation Airflow at High Risk Facilities
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Maria D. King, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: The research goal of this proposal is to use aerobiology and airflow modeling to gain comprehensive understanding of the role of the environment in the spread of viral infections at high risk facilities and use the insights gained to guide the design of preventive measures. Fundamental science is required to understand the mechanism of the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and develop mitigation guidelines.

 

Effects of the Pandemic on Healthcare Workers, Delivery and Policy
 
Epidemiological, Social and Behavioral Research
 
Prediction of Covid 19 cases using data integration
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Bani K Mallick, College of Science, Department of Statistics, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: Novel Bayesian hierarchical model integrating global data to predict infection trajectory. See the paper: Estimation of COVID-19 spread curves integrating global data and borrowing information.

    Now working on USA state and county level data to see the effect of opening up.

 

Cross Border Transportation as a Disease Vector in COVID-19
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Okan Gurbuz, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: Transportation is a vector for spreading COVID-19. Community spread is impacted by a variety of factors including cross border transportation. The objectives of this study are to; (i)develop a data-driven understanding of the relationship between transportation-related parameters including cross-border transportation and spread of spread, and (ii) identify potential technology applications to mitigate the risk of spread while maintaining mobility at Texas/Mexico border crossings.

 

Resilience & Risk in the Informal Sector: Responses to Economic & Security Risks of COVID-19 in Lagos, Nigeria
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Jessica Gottlieb, Bush School of Government & Public Service, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: We are conducting a series of phone surveys to study the economic, social and security impacts of COVID-19 among informal sector vendors in Lagos, Africa’s largest city with a population of more than 24 million. The survey capitalizes on prior work with a representative sample of over 1000 market vendors, making rapid data collection at a distance feasible among this otherwise hard-to-reach population.

 

Examining the role covid-19 related adversity in adolescent health
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Sherecce Fields, College of Liberal Arts, Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: We aim to examine the following: Aim1: To test whether COVID-19 related adversity (threat and deprivation-based) may serve as an antecedent for increased health risk behaviors through the decrease in emotion regulation and/or cognitive control. Aim 2: To examine how changes in/the removal of social supports as a result of pandemic factors (e.g., physical distancing mandates) moderate adversity-based risk for health risk behaviors.

 

The Impact of COVID-19 on Norms, Risk-taking, Information, and Trust
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Catherine Eckel, College of Liberal Arts, Department of Economics, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: COVID-19, and the policies designed to alleviate its spread, have led to sudden, sweeping changes in individual and social behavior. Using a large (n>1500) longitudinal sample of college students, we trace how the pandemic generates behavioral change. Using surveys and behavioral games, we examine the role of preferences, norms and information in compliance with specific policy recommendations for such behaviors.

 

Tracking social and governmental responses to COVID-19 using geospatial big data
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Lei Zou, College of Geosciences, Department of Geography, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: The project seeks to collect time-sensitive Twitter, Facebook, news website, and online data hubs to analyze the changing social and governmental responses to the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. and examine its differential health and socioeconomic impacts. We will use spatial analysis, web crawling, natural language processing, and Deep Learning to extract COVID-19 related topics, awareness, sentiment, mobility, and adaptive behaviors from the collected data.

 

CoFABS-Q: A dataset of face, body and speech cues in web-mined COVID-19 conversational vlogs
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Amir Behzadan, College of Architecture, Department of Construction Science, Texas A&M University; Theodora Chaspari, College of Engineering, Department of Computer Science & Engineering, Texas A&M University; Preeti Zanwar, School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: We collect, integrate, and analyze multimodal audiovisual data from COVID-19 conversational vlogs using machine learning and data analytics algorithms (for acoustic, image, and linguistic cues) to characterize and contextualize space- and time-dependent sentiments (i.e., worry, sadness, fear, anger, disgust, joy, surprise), and track sentiment propagation from vlogger to viewers. This study will result in a curated multi-modal corpus of conversational vlogs recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Optimal Estimation and Forecasting of Covid-19 Spread from Incomplete and Inaccurate Testing Data
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Ulisses Braga-Neto, College of Engineering, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Project Summary: We are developing in our lab optimal Bayesian filters for estimating SIR curves (along with relevant parameters) from incomplete and inaccurate testing data. Our model addresses geographic spread through a combination of stochastic differential equations and probabilistic cellular automata in innovative ways. The effect of social distancing, mask usage, and vaccination can be incorporated. We seek collaborators who can help us deploy this tool to forecast the spread of Covid-19 in Texas.

 

COVID-19 and Pets research
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Sarah Hamer, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: Testing animals (pets) owned by locally diagnosed people with cases of COVID-19 for SARS-CoV-2 RNA, virus and antibodies. Exploring alternative methods of surveillance and modes of transmission. Project Website

 

Biting and non-biting fly surveillance for COVID-19 transmission
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Gabe Hamer, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: Collecting and testing flies (biting and non-biting) from inside and outside the homes of locally diagnosed people with cases of COVID-19 for SARS-CoV-2 RNA and virus. Exploring alternative methods of surveillance and modes of transmission.

 

Social Capital and COVID-19 Infection and Mortality Rates
  • ​​Principal Investigator: James N Burdine, School of Public Health, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: We are interested in looking at the relationships between the "social capital" of communities and rates of COVID-19 infection and deaths. This study is using existing county-level data and comparing case and mortality rates at two points in time.

 

COVID 19 - Analysis of death with FFT and ODE's
  • ​​Principal Investigator: John Nichols, College of Architecture, Department of Construction Science, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: Analysis of the death statistics to understand the daily variations in death statistics using Fast Fourier transforms. The standard ODE has been developed to include a Fourier series on the critical variable in the model that affects the weekly pattern in deaths that is common throughout the world.

 

Medical Device Development
 
Rapid heat inactivation of coronavirus
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Arum Han, College of Engineering, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: This project is to investigate the conditions under which heat can be applied for sub-second duration to inactivate coronaviruses from causing infection of human host cells.

 

Covid-19 Initiative-Prestige Ameritech
  • ​​Principal Investigator: David Staack, College of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: The details of this project are subject to a non-disclosure agreement with TEES.

 

Public Policy Analysis and Impact
 
Health versus the Economy Amid COVID-19: What Do People Value More?
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Marco A Palma, Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: Public efforts to battle COVID-19 have been portrayed as a trade-off between health and the economy. We investigate how the U.S. general public prioritizes the health and the income dimensions amid COVID-19 using an incentivized instrument with real monetary consequences. Specifically, participants have to divide monetary contributions between two charitable organizations representing the health or the income dimension.

 

“Your safety is my safety”: Public health information and linguistic diversity in Qatar amidst the COVID-19 pandemic
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Sara Hillman, Texas A&M University at Qatar
  • Project Summary: This study examines the various ways that Qatar is educating and supporting its linguistically diverse population, especially migrant workers lacking a strong command of Arabic or English, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Resilient and Agile Engineering Solutions to Address Societal Challenges such as Coronavirus Pandemic
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Anupam Agrawal, Mays Business School, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: We review the coronavirus pandemic and discuss salient aspects of the virus, the disease, its impact, propagation and treatment options, current and future testing processes, how nanotechnology and ultra-precision engineering and digital manufacturing and automation can aid drug and vaccine discovery. We also discuss the short- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on supply chains, climate change and lifestyles.

 

COVID-19 Economic Impacts in the South Texas Coastal Bend
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Dr. Kateryna Wowk, Harte Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
  • Project Summary: Using a stratified sampling methodology, this research will survey local businesses by telephone to assess business impacts to COVID-19 in four rural Coastal Bend counties. Results will be used to craft tailored strategies for each individual county to pursue larger federal relief dollars.

 

Federalism, Preemption and the Powers of Local Governments to Shelter in Place
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Dawn Jourdan, College of Architecture, Department of Landscape Architecture & Urban Planning, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: This study is a multi-state review of the political and legal history of decisions made by mayors and the governor regarding the legal powers to shelter in place as a result of COVID-19. Researchers seek to understand the devolution of powers to the state and local governments in times of pandemic.

 

Urban Resilience to Pandemics
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Ali Mostafavi, College of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: The research examined the resilience of urban systems and populations to disruptions caused by COVID-19 Pandemic.

 

COVID-19 and the Law
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Sandra Braman, College of Liberal Arts, Department of Communication, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: Analysis of US legal developments related to or justified by COVID-19, including changes in the nature of the law and legal processes themselves.

 

Building PreK-12 Schools’ Resilience in the Face of COVID-19
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Ryan Ahn, College of Architecture, Department of Construction Science, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: This project aims to tackle the challenges in maintaining social distance in often-crowded schools in collaboration with PreK-12 school districts, by predicting and analyzing the impact of building/classroom/course operation policies on social distancing between students.

 

Resilience and Risk in the Informal Sector:\\ Responses to Economic and Security Risks of COVID-19 in Lagos, Nigeria
  • ​​Principal Investigator: Jessica Gottlieb, Bush School of Government & Public Service, Texas A&M University
  • Project Summary: We are conducting a series of phone surveys to study the differential (across identity group) economic, social and security impacts of COVID-19 among informal sector vendors in Lagos, Africa's largest city with a population of more than 24 million. Their experiences are indicative of those of a large and particularly vulnerable subset of the population in Africa -- actors in the urban informal economy -- who live day to day and whose economic activities are deeply impacted by the crisis.

 

Stress and Mental Health During COVID-19
 

This is completely voluntary and we are aware that some faculty may be conducting embargoed research and do not wish to participate. This Index will augment collaboration among Texas A&M researchers and hopefully accelerate research. Thank you for your participation in this project.

For questions, please contact Chantel Robinson (chantelr@tamu.edu)