Centerbrook Clients at Forefront of COVID-19 Response
Two of our clients, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, are world-renowned for being at forefront of scientific research. That each is already involved in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic is no surprise.
The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) announced on Thursday it is providing its expertise to support the public health crisis by providing COVID-19 diagnostic testing for the State of Connecticut. JAX has partnered with the Connecticut Department of Health, Hartford Hospital and UConn Health – who we’ve also designed for – on the effort. Located in Farmington, Connecticut, JAX estimates it will be able to test between 100-150 samples per day.
JAX in Bar Harbor, Maine, is also employing its advanced breeding techniques to rapidly grow a new mouse colony for potential use in coronavirus research.
On the north shore of Long Island, New York, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) is participating in a partnership organized by the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy called the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset. CSHL is one of seven entities – including the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative – currently involved in the cooperative, which is tasked with mining data from more than 29,000 scholarly articles on coronavirus to help the science community answer high-priority scientific questions related to COVID-19.
CSHL, a client of ours for four decades, also has an interesting blog post titled, “Why your kid can explain the COVID-19 test.” CSHL has a long-running education initiative known as the DNA Learning Center (DNALC), and the blog post tells the story of how, in 2019 alone, more than 67,000 high school students learned about Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) at the DNALC. PCR is the technology at the heart of COVID-19 testing.
"We have helped create several generations of students and teachers who have a basic understanding of how the test for the presence of coronaviruses works,” said Dave Micklos, founder and executive director of the DNALC. "This is how lab science supports informed public participation in health care.”
Additionally, CSHL has compiled a continually-updated repository of COVID-19 information on its Library & Archives page that is useful for the general public as well as the science community.
May 5 Update:
Since the original publication of this story, CSHL has become significantly more involved in the COVID-19 pandemic. It has repurposed multiple labs to create large amounts of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein for clinical labs to test patients for the presence of antibodies. Three different researchers are working on repurposing existing drugs to either block, slow down or limit the advancement and effects of COVID-19. Yet another is studying how COVID-19 attaches to the lung cells of smokers.
JAX has also expanded its activity around COVID-19. In addition to testing in Connecticut, JAX is providing testing for hospitals in Maine as well. The Bar Harbor laboratory has also expanded its mouse research services, including taking on mouse strains from other research labs that have closed or capabilities reduced by the pandemic. JAX has also expanded its online database for COVID-19 researchers.