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Miami CTSI Faculty Contribute to JCTS Special Issue on COVID-19

Six Miami CTSI faculty have contributed articles to a newly released special issue of the Journal of Clinical and Translational Science on COVID-19. Explore the articles to discover the innovative ways the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program responded to the global health crisis. Read more


The following report highlights some key achievements of the Miami CTSI since March 2020 in support of COVID-19 research.

COVID-19 Translational Tuesdays

In 2020, the Miami CTSI hosted a regular webinar and Q&A session featuring ongoing COVID-19 research and innovations from some of the University of Miami’s most talented researchers. These sessions not only help to inform the broader University community about the important work being done to address the pandemic crisis, but they also serve as an opportunity for other researchers to identify possible collaborations. The recorded webinars may viewed here unless otherwise noted. Please use your UM email to register.

  • Oct. 13: Community-Engaged Strategies To Combat COVID-19 Misinformation & Increase Diversity in Trial Recruitment – Dr. Olveen Carrasquillo and Dr. Victoria Behar-Zusman – Recording
  • Sept. 1: Convalescent Plasma for Treatment of COVID-19: The Importance of UM’s Current & Upcoming Randomized Clinical Trials – Drs. Dushyantha Jayaweera, Shweta Anjan, and Yanyun Wu – Recording
  • July 21: International COVID-19 Cannabis Health Study – Dr. Denise Vidot and her collaborators Dr. Marlene Camacho-Rivera and Dr. Jessica Islam
  • June 16: HIV in the Era of COVID-19 – Dr. Maria Alcaide, Dr. Deborah Jones Weiss, Dr. Adam Carrico
  • June 9: Early Detection Tracking & Reporting of COVID-19 – Dr. Nicholas Tsinoremas and Christopher Mader
  • May 26: Smell & Taste Loss in COVID-19 – Dr. Corinna Levine and Dr. Eric Nisenbaum
  • May 19: The COVID-19 Vaccine Overview & Development of Secreted Heat Shock Protein gp96-Ig-COVID-19 Vaccine
  • May 5: Current Protocols & Treatment Strategies for COVID-19 – Dr. Lilian Abbo and Dr. Dushyantha “Jay” Jayaweera
  • April 28: Cell Therapies for COVID19 – Dr. Joshua Hare, Dr. Camilo Ricordi, and Dr. Shari Messinger Cayetano
  • April 21: Vignettes in Coronavirus Research: Viral Origins & Testing – Dr. Mario Stevenson and Dr. Mark Sharkey
  • April 14: Measuring Community Spread – Dr. Erin Kobetz and Dr. Natasha Schaefer Solle
  • April 7: Creating a Rapid Test Platform – Dr. Sylvia Daunert and Dr. Sapna Deo

COVID-19 Feasibility Committee

The Office of the Executive Dean for Research and Miami CTSI are supporting a new schoolwide COVID-19 Feasibility Committee led by Maria Abreu, M.D., Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Medicine.

As the amount of COVID-19 studies at the University has increased, we are requiring all investigators interested in conducting a COVID-19 related study to complete the COVID-19 study intake form before submitting the study to the HSRO and ORA.

The Feasibility Committee is made up of scientific and clinical experts at the Miller School of Medicine. The committee’s charge is to assess which studies have the best chance of benefiting current and future patients with the goal of improving the quality of research and to ensure that there are not duplicative studies with the same participant population. Investigators will be notified of the Committee’s decision and recommendation.

If you have any questions regarding the new COVID-19 Feasibility Committee, please email

Maria Abreu, MD (CHAIR)MedicineGastroenterology
Jose Castro, MDMedicineInfectious Diseases
Susanne Doblecki-Lewis, MDMedicineInfectious Diseases
Elizabeth Franzmann, MDOtolaryngologyHead and Neck
Hayley Gershengorn, MDMedicinePulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
Richard A. Preston, MDMedicineClinical Pharmacology
Richard Silverman, MDAnesthesiology, Perioperative
Medicine & Pain Management
Critical Care Medicine
Adam Wanner, MDMedicinePulmonary, Allergy, Critical
Care & Sleep Medicine

COVID-19 Related Research Studies at UM

A list of approved and upcoming COVID-19 related studies is now available to the UM research community. It was made possible through a collaboration between the Miami CTSI, the Office of the Executive Dean for Research and Office of the Vice Provost for Research to increase awareness, foster collaboration and maximize institutional resources and support. The list contains the type of study, study objective, name of the PI and department. It will be updated on a weekly basis and be accessible only to users with a Cane ID and password. View list

CTSI Funded COVID-19 Projects

Project: Rapid Point-of-Care Test for Screening of COVID-19
Team: Sylvia Daunert, PharmD, MS, PhD; Sapna K. Deo, MS, PhD; Jean-Marc Zingg, PhD
News Article

  • CTSI Program Director Developing Fast Point-of-Care Test for COVID-19
    March 24, 2020 — Director of the CTSI’s Collaboration and Multidisciplinary Team Science Program, Sylvia Daunert, Ph.D., PharmD, M.S., and her lab are developing a rapid diagnostic test for COVID-19 that can provide results in a fraction of the time required for most current tests. Her work is being supported through a CTSI Emerging DIseases funding award. Read more

Project: Development of A Rapid, Inexpensive Diagnostic Assay for SARS-CoV-2
Team: Mark Sharkey, Ph.D. and Mario Stevenson, Ph.D.
News Article

  • CTSI Researchers Fighting COVID-19 In the Labs
    March 24, 2020 — Miami CTSI KL2 graduate, Natasa Strbo, M.D., D.Sc., is applying her work on a cancer and infectious disease vaccine in the fight against COVID-19, while Sylvia Daunert, PharmD, M.S., Ph.D., and Mario Stevenson, Ph.D., are working on new rapid point-of-care and lab diagnostic tests for the virus. Daunert and Stevenson’s research is supported by a CTSI Emerging Diseases funding award. Read more

Project: Corona Virus Prevalence and Risk study
Team: (PIs) Dushyantha Jayaweera MD, Suresh Pallikkuth PhD, Savita Pahwa MD; (Co-Is) Xue Liu MD, PhD, Bharvath Shukla MD, David Andrews MD, Merce Jorda MD, Sylvia Daunert PhD, Sapna Deo PhD, Josh Hare MD
Description: An overarching goal of the study is to determine the prevalence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus infection in patients attending UHealth Tower and Jackson Memorial Hospital and the possible risk factors for these infections. This study will collect epidemiological data. A novel diagnostic kit will be evaluated and immunology research with relevance to immediate public health and vaccine development will be conducted.

Discussion Forums

Join the COVID-19 Discussion Forum created to support research collaboration and information sharing for the University of Miami research community. These discussion forums are open to all faculty, staff and students. Specialized sub-groups on the forum include:

  • pre-clinical
  • clinical
  • testing/diagnostics
  • epidemiological
  • social behavioral

To join, click here to go directly the Discussion Forum on Microsoft Teams. If prompted, log in with your Cane ID and password.

NCATS Funding Opportunities

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences has issued several notices of special interest that highlight the urgent need for research on the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and the disease it causes. Learn more

CTSI Services for Research

The CTSI offers extensive research-related services to support investigators and their teams with their COVID-19 research projects including biostatistical and study design consulting, grant writing assistance, tools for feasibility analysis and more. View services here.

More COVID-19 Research at UM

The University of Miami is actively engaged in a wide array of COVID-19 research. To read more about the clinical and community-based research that our faculty and staff are leading, visit the Invent UM blog.

Education Session for Community Health Workers on COVID-19

Presented by the Florida Community Health Worker Coalition and the Florida Department of Health in partnership with the Miami CTSI

In The News

Consejos para una mejor comunicación en las visitas médicas tradicionales con máscaras
Para Mayores – La Poderosa 670 AM Radio – Miami, FL

UM Tests Anti-Inflammatory Drug Aviptadil to Treat COVID-19-Induced Respiratory Distress

Infectious disease experts with the University of Miami Health System and the Miller School of Medicine have begun a clinical trial using Aviptadil to treat Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) in patients with COVID-19. Read more

Strategies to Help the Hard of Hearing during COVID-19 Precautions

Amid the physical distancing restrictions for the COVID-19 outbreak, audiology and public health experts at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and the Hispanic Hearing Healthcare Access Coalition strongly recommend that communities take special measures to continue communicating and stay connected with people who are hard of hearing. Read more

UM doctor to start stem cell trial for coronavirus patients

A team of doctors at the University of Miami won emergency federal approval to use stem cell therapy on patients suffering severe lung inflammation from COVID-19. The treatment will begin this week, starting with a dozen patients. Read more

Cómo mantenerse saludable y conectado para las personas con pérdida de audición
Para Mayores – La Poderosa 670 AM Radio – Miami, FL

University of Miami research teams receive grants to undertake innovative COVID-19 projects

More than two dozen projects were recently awarded rapid response grants from the University of Miami’s Office of the Vice Provost for Research. The grants, which range from $5,000 to $40,000, require faculty members and students to develop and execute research that will somehow broaden our understanding of COVID-19 and begin to mitigate its impacts within the next four months. Read more

U-TRACE Initiative Provides Single Source for Identifying and Tracing COVID-19 Contacts throughout UM

“Our goal is to identify and manage new cases, protect our clinicians on the front lines, and provide appropriate support and care to our students, faculty, and staff members,” said Erin N. Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine and public health sciences, associate director for population science and cancer disparity at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and co-vice provost for research at the University of Miami. Read more

What does the public know about COVID-19?

Two University of Miami researchers are investigating how much people truly know about COVID-19—and whether they would be willing to take a drug to prevent themselves from getting the disease, if one existed. Read more

CTSI Program Director Dr. Erin Kobetz and Team to Collaborate with Miami-Dade County on Coronavirus Testing

New testing effort, announced by Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, will use a finger prick to check for antibodies to the virus in a drop of blood to determine past or present infection. Read more

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