Research Nova Scotia is contributing $600,000 in rapid response match funding to Dr. David Kelvin of Dalhousie University who is looking for biomarkers that indicate the severity of the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

Kelvin and his international research colleagues are looking for a way to quickly identify the severity of the virus in those who test positive for COVID-19. RNS is joining the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s COVID-19 funding initiative, which has committed $1 million to the project, and the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation, which has allotted $250,000.

The Government of Canada recently invested $27M in coronavirus research. These funds are being distributed to 47 research teams across Canada and will help inform clinical and public health responses, develop and evaluate diagnostic tools and vaccines, and create strategies to tackle misinformation, stigma, and fear.

“Due to the extraordinary nature of the issue, the significant health risks to Nova Scotians, and the considerable economic consequences already being felt here and around the world, we need to be nimble and act decisively to support urgent frontline research,” Stefan Leslie, CEO of Research Nova Scotia, said in a statement.

Kelvin’s research aims to help healthcare professionals determine which patients have the highest chances of developing severe illness through the identification of biomarkers. If successful, the research would help give high-risk patients priority for hospitalization and/or admission to intensive care units.

“Ultimately, what we want to do is have a point-of-care device that in a very short period of time can designate which patients should go to hospital,” said Kelvin.

The research will be conducted through the Canadian COVID-19 Research Network, which includes researchers from China, Vietnam, Spain, Italy, Morocco, Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Côte d'Ivoire, Mozambique and the United States.

“As we all know, this outbreak continues to evolve daily and Dr. Kelvin’s research could have a direct impact on patient outcomes, Leslie said.

To contribute to this research, please visit here,