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McMaster COVID-19 Research Fund Recipients & Projects

McMaster COVID-19 Research Fund Recipients & Projects

At McMaster, it is our goal and responsibility to use our evidence-based knowledge to support understanding, drive change, and, ultimately, advance human and societal health and well-being.

The McMaster COVID-19 Research Fund is designed to support a broad range of research which will benefit society in dealing with pandemics in the immediate and longer term. To ensure funding of a diverse range of research undertaken across the university, two Streams supporting discoveries and advances led by McMaster researchers have been developed. Stream 1 provides funding for projects which will have an immediate impact, while Stream 2 funds projects with longer-term outcomes. Funding is provided by McMaster University and through the generosity of compassionate donors.


Stream 1 – Research with Immediate Impact

With a global war raging on COVID-19, McMaster researchers have already brought much-needed insights and expertise to the cause through their scientific and technological advances. In an effort to do more, this program will fund research with immediate impacts, and which broadens our knowledge and understanding of the virus and provides us with the necessary tools to fight it. For instance, we welcome projects like those that build our capacity for vaccine development, therapeutics and diagnostics; advance a cure or effective treatments; employ innovative technologies and AI solutions to enable the manufacturing of the requisite equipment; or identify practices that better address the needs of healthcare workers and patients.

Stream 1 Recipients
Principal Investigator: Alex Andronov, Chemistry & Chemical Biology
Co-Investigator(s): James Mahony, Pathology & Molecular Medicine; Mark Larché, Medicine
Project Title: Development of a Novel Delivery Method for a COVID-19 Vaccine to Improve Global Adoption

Principal Investigator: Waleed Alhazzani, Medicine
Co-Investigator(s): Zainab Al Duhailib and Yassin Arabi, Adult Critical Care Medicine; Bram Rochwerg and Dan Perri, Medicine
Project Title: Awake Prone Position in Hypoxemic Patients with Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVI-PRONE): A Randomized Clinical Trial

Principal Investigator: Kjetil Ask, Medicine
Co-Investigator(s): Martin Kolb, Medicine; JC Cutz, Asghar Naqvi, and Anna Dvorkin-Gheva, Pathology & Molecular Medicine
Project Title: Molecular and Cellular Characterization of COVID-19 Mitigated Organ Failure

Principal Investigator: Rick Austin, Medicine
Co-Investigator(s): Karen Mossman, Pathology & Molecular Medicine; Jakob Magolan, Chemistry & Chemical Biology
Project Title: Small Molecule Inhibitors of Cell Surface GRP78 for the Treatment of COVID-19

Principal Investigator: John Brennan, Chemistry & Chemical Biology
Co-Investigator(s): Yingfu Li, Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences; Fred Capretta, Chemistry & Chemical Biology; Carlos Filipe,
Chemical Engineering; Karen Mossman and Cynthia Balion, Pathology & Molecular Medicine
Project Title: A Rapid High-Throughput Diagnostic Test for SARS-CoV-2

Principal Investigator: Michael Brook, Chemistry & Chemical Biology
Gillian Goward, Chemistry & Chemical Biology
Project Title:
Antioxidant-presenting, Hard Silicone Surfaces Kill COVID-19

Principal Investigator: Noel Chan and Guillaume Pare, Medicine
Co-Investigator(s): John Eikelboom, Emilie Belley-Cote, and Salim Yusuf, Medicine; Richard Whitlock, Surgery
Project Title: Assessing Coagulation Biomarkers to Accelerate the Discovery of Effective Therapies for COVID-19 (ACT-COAG sub-study)

Principal Investigator: Todd Hoare, Chemical Engineering
Co-Investigator(s): Heather Sheardown, Chemical Engineering; Ryan Wylie, Chemistry & Chemical Biology; Lori Burrows, Biochemistry
& Biomedical Sciences
Project Title: Sprayable Anti-infective Surface Coatings for Point-of-Use Long-term Disinfection

Principal Investigator: Thomas Hurd, Mathematics & Statistics
Co-Investigator(s): Weijie Pang, Hassan Chehaitli, and Vladimir Nosov, Mathematics & Statistics
Project Title: Curve Flattening for COVID Through Network Models

Principal Investigator: Zoe Li, Civil Engineering
Co-Investigator(s): Wael El-Dakhakhni, Civil Engineering
Project Title: McMaster Dynamic Network Analyzer (MCMASTERDNA): A Novel Network-of-Networks Simulation and Optimization
Model for Preventing the Risk of COVID-19 Spread on Campus

Principal Investigator: Andrew McArthur, Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences
Co-Investigator(s): Robyn Lee, University of Toronto; Michael Surette, Medicine; Nahuel Fittipaldi, Public Health Ontario
Project Title: Addressing the COVID-19 Crises in Long-Term Care Facilities and Hospitals in Ontario Using Genomic Epidemiology

Principal Investigator: Michael McGillion, School of Nursing
Project Title: Post Discharge After Surgery Virtual Care with Remote Automated Monitoring Technology (PVC-RAM) Trial

Principal Investigator: Nikhil Pai, Pediatrics
Co-Investigator(s): Marek Smieja, Pathology & Molecular Medicine; Jeffrey Pernica, Pediatrics
Project Title: A Prospective, Observational Study on the Diagnosis of COVID-19 Infection from Stool Samples of Children and Adults

Principal Investigator: Alexandra Papaioannou, Medicine
Co-Investigator(s): George Ioannidis, Courtney Kennedy, Sharon Marr, Jonathan Adachi, Justin Lee, Dee Mangin, Kerstin de Wit,
Michelle Welsford, Brian Misiaszek, Tricia Woo, Christopher Patterson, and David Armstrong, Medicine; Steven Bray, Kinesiology;
Jennifer Kodis, Hamilton Health Sciences; Patricia Hewston and Caitlin McArthur, Post-Doctoral Trainees, McMaster
Project Title: GERAS Frailty Rehabilitation at Home: Virtual Bundled Care for Seniors who are Frail to Build Strength and Resilience
During COVID-19

Principal Investigator: Lisa Schwartz, Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact
Co-Investigator(s): Matthew Hunt, McGill University
Project Title: Ethics of Implementing Research in a Crisis: Understanding Moral Experiences of Healthcare Providers Caring for Patients
who are Enrolled in or Excluded from COVID-19 Clinical Trials

Principal Investigator: Leyla Soleymani, Engineering Physics
Co-Investigator(s): Tohid Didar, Mechanical Engineering; Ali Ashkar, Pathology & Molecular Medicine
Project Title:  Developing a Repellant Plastic Wrap (RepelWrap) for Reducing the Spread of COVID-19 via High Touch Surfaces

Principal Investigator: Arthur Sweetman, Economics
Co-Investigator(s): Ahmad von Schlegell, DeGroote School of Business; Sheridan Villa Long Term Care Facility; Credit Valley Hospital;
Katherine Cuff, Economics
Project Title: Long-term Care Home Staffing and Funding Amid COVID-19

Principal Investigator: Manaf Zargoush, DeGroote School of Business
Co-Investigator(s): Mark Loeb, Health Research Methods, Evidence, & Impact; Mehmet Gumus, McGill University; Saied Samiedaluei,
University of Alberta; Mohammad Nikoofal, Ryerson University; Hadi Eslami, University of New Brunswick; Dale Kalina, Joseph Brant
Hospital and Toronto Invasive Bacterial Disease Network COVID-19 Working Group
Project Title: Immediate Response to COVID-19 Spread Through Air Travel: Prediction and Simulation Models for Assessing the
Infection Risk of Landing Flights in Canadian Airports, Evaluating Preventative Measures in Aircrafts, and Increasing Public Health


Stream 2 – Research Aimed at Longer-term Outcomes

The collateral damage of COVID-19 on populations and economies will live well beyond a vaccine. What does a post-COVID world look like—both locally and globally—and what tools are needed to reduce the impacts of this and future pandemics on our economic, political, and societal health? We welcome projects examining a wide range of issues: global health policy in an era of entrenched nationalism; health care and climate change; the role of the media (social and otherwise) and fake news cycles; how epidemics shape history, consciousness and the arts; deepening global inequality and epidemics; race and epidemics; populism and the war on science; better city planning in light of urbanization and densification; the psychological fallout of pandemics on vulnerable populations; or the economics of funding a post-COVID world.

Stream 2 Recipients
Principal Investigator: Gina Agarwal, Family Medicine
Co-Investigator(s): Jim Dunn, Health, Aging & Society; Neil Johnston, Medicine; Lehana Thabane, Health Research Methods, Evidence
and Impact; Melissa Pirrie, and Ricardo Angeles, Family Medicine; Mike Paterson
Project Title: Distribution of COVID-19 Testing, Infection and Healthcare Utilization Amongst Older Adult Residents of Social Housing in
Ontario During the Pandemic: A Population-Based Cohort Study of Administrative Health Data.

Principal Investigator: Karen Bird, Political Science
Co-Investigator(s): Denise Christopherson, and Violetta Nikolskaya, YWCA of Hamilton
Project Title: Diverse Leadership and Policy Inclusiveness: Assessing COVID-19 Response and Recovery Planning in 12 Ontario Cities.

Principal Investigator: Dawn Bowdish, Pathology & Molecular Medicine; Judah Denburg, Medicine
Co-Investigator(s): Allison Kennedy; Jessica Wallace; David Putnam; Delia Heroux; Loubna Akhabir; Sarah Scattolon; Sara Khan and
Dominik Mertz, Hamilton Health Sciences; Jeffrey Pernica; Nicole Gervais
Project Title: Deep Immunophenotyping of Symptomatic And Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Hospitalised Pregnant Women at

Principal Investigator: Chandrima Chakraborty, English and Cultural Studies and Peace Studies
Project Title: COVID-19 and Asian Canadians: Why Does Race Matter?

Principal Investigator: Chelsea Gabel, Health, Aging, and Society
Co-Investigator(s): Nicole Goodman, Brock University
Project Title: Indigenous Governance Crises in Canada: The Uncertainty of Elections in Extraordinary Times.

Principal Investigator: Benson Honig, DeGroote School of Business
Co-Investigator(s): Ana Cristina O. Siqueira, William Patterson University
Project Title: Developing a Virtual Ingenuity Incubator for Women and Minority Led Businesses during the COVID-19 Crisis.

Principal Investigator: Kim Jones, Chemical Engineering
Co-Investigator(s): Jacklyn Koyama, University of Toronto; Emily Cyr, University of Waterloo; Elizabeth Page-Gould, University of Toronto;
Hilary Bergsieker, University of Waterloo
Project Title: Ensuring Effective and Equitable Teamwork in Virtual Workspaces.

Principal Investigator: Ameil Joseph, School of Social Work
Project Title: Grief, Memorials, and Loss Through COVID-19: Resources for Caring While Physical Distancing.

Principal Investigator: Lydia Kapiriri, Health, Aging, and Society
Co-Investigator(s): Julia Abelson; Godfrey Biemba, National Health Research Authority; Marion Danis, National Institutes of Health;
Beverly Essue and Jennifer Gibson, University of Toronto; Susan Goold, University of Michigan; Iestyn Williams, University of Birmingham
; Susan Kiwanuka and Freddie Sengooba, Makerere University; Ann-Charlotte Nedlund and Lars Sundman, Linköping University; Alexis
Rulisa, Rwanda Social Security Board
Project Title: The Impact of Priority Setting on Pandemic Preparedness and Response: A Global Comparative Analysis of the Role of Priority Setting and Equity During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Principal Investigator: Joseph Kim, Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour
Co-Investigator(s): Faria Sana, Constance Imbault and Noah Forrin, Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour; Adam Blake, University of California,
Los Angeles
Project Title: Add Designing and Testing Active Learning Strategies for Online Courses.

Principal Investigator: Katherine Morrison, Pediatrics
Co-Investigator(s): Jess Haines, University of Guelph
Project Title: Impact of COVID-19 on Child Health.

Principal Investigator: Bruce Newbold, Earth, Environment & Society
Co-Investigator(s): Olive Wahoush, School of Nursing; Sarah Wayland, Hamilton Immigrant Partnership Council; Yudara Weerakoon,
Mohawk College
Project Title: Canadians’ Attitudes Toward Immigration in the COVID-19 Era.

Principal Investigator: Tara Packham, Rehabilitation Science
Co-Investigator(s): Evelyne Durocher, Matthew Freeman, Jocelyn Harris, and Patty Solomon, School of Rehabilitation Sciences
Project Title: Living with a Disability in the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Story Completion Study.

Principal Investigator: Sandeep Raha, Pediatrics
Co-Investigator(s): J. Marshal Beier, Political Science & Social Sciences; Rebecca Collins-Nelsen, Interdisciplinary Science & Pediatrics;
Benson Honig, Human Resource Management; John MacLachlan, Geography and Earth Sciences; Kimberly Dej, Interdisciplinary Science;Karen Balcom, History
Project Title: Digital Community Engagement: A Collaborative Discovery Platform for the Future.

Principal Investigator: Bradley Ruffle, Economics
Co-Investigator(s): Anastasios Papanastasiou, Economics
Project Title:  Incentives for Social Distancing: Wage Subsidies, Fines, and Mandatory Masks.

Principal Investigator: Youngki Shin, Economics
Co-Investigator(s): Sokbae (Simon) Lee, Columbia University; Yuan Liao, Rutgers University; Myung Hwan Seo, Seoul National
Project Title: Welfare Analysis of Lockdown/Reopening Policy Under COVID-19.

Principal Investigator: Arthur Sweetman, Economics
Co-Investigator(s): Stephan Jones, Economics
Project Title: Labour Market Dynamics in the COVID-19 Crisis and Recovery.

Principal Investigator: Netina Tan, Political Science
Co-Investigator(s): Tony Porter, Political Science; Sara Bannerman, Communication Studies and Multimedia
Project Title: Rising Digital Authoritarianism? Pandemic Surveillance Technology and Information Control.