UES Supporting COVID-19 Testing Program within Air Force
September 15, 2020
Researchers from the 711th Human Performance Wing, Airman Systems Directorate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) are collaborating with the National Institutes of Health, the Air Force Lifecycle Management Center (AFLCMC), and Ginkgo Bioworks on a COVID-19 screening study investigating existing and emerging testing technologies. They're using various testing methods to: (1) determine if there are COVID-19 antibodies in participants without confirmed history of exposure to or illness from COVID-19; and (2) evaluate the effectiveness and capacity of emerging industry protocols for detecting COVID-19 infection in asymptomatic individuals.. As part of the second aim of the study, researchers are collaborating with industry to evaluate the effectiveness and capacity of emerging scalable protocols for detecting active COVID-19 infection. UES scientists have been collecting and processing samples in this study, as well as helping develop processes and protocols.
Enrollment in the first aim of the study requires an in-person blood draw from the arm or finger sticks using an at-home testing kit. The second requires saliva collection into a small tube.
Volunteers for this study are still needed. To participate in this study, you must be 18 years or older. To provide samples, you must have no clinically confirmed history of COVID-19 infection or exposure. If you're interested in enrolling in the study, please contact 711HPW.RH.COVID-19TestingResea@us.af.mil.
Dr. Stephaney Shanks is the Integrative Health & Performance Sciences Director at UES. She states that “UES and our extended research team are incredibly proud to be supporting this research and the Air Force’s effort to better understand COVID-19 antibodies and related implications. It's gratifying to know that the scientific talents within our group are being applied to such a significant real-world problem.”
Shanks' team isn't new to the COVID-19 response scene either. They've contributed to many related projects, including evaluating aircraft transport of COVID-19 patients.
Dr. Nina Joshi, CEO, attributes UES’ success in this collaboration to the scientific expertise developed as part of the firm’s capabilities in Integrative Health & Human Performance. “We're honored to be a trusted partner in this effort. UES is ready and willing to support our customer community and region in anything we can add to the COVID-19 response.”