Pinpointing the cause of COVID-19-related inflammatory surge

Dr. Alice Mui, associate professor in the departments of surgery and biochemistry and molecular biology and researcher at the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, is receiving $150,072 from CIHR to investigate why some patients with COVID-19 experience a surge of inflammatory proteins, called a cytokine storm, that can contribute to the development of acute respiratory distress. Her team will investigate whether the SARS-Co-V2 virus blocks the function of an anti-inflammatory cytokine called interleukin-10 in the body. Her team will also assess whether a compound they have developed can mimic the action of this cytokine and reduce inflammation in patients infected with the COVID-19 virus.

As well, along with her team, she was awarded Strategic Investment Funds to create interactive online modules for MEDD 419, MEDD 429 and MEDD 449, together referred to as the Flexible enhanced learning (FLEX) course in the UBC medical undergraduate program curriculum.  These modules will be used to facilitate learning during the COVID-19 physical distancing policies and improve the delivery and access to course content.