People who have contracted COVID-19 may have important information about their genetic makeup that gives researchers more insight into how the disease develops in an individual’s body. Led by Lloyd T. Elliot from Simon Fraser University, this team aims to better understand how people’s different genetic variations can inform COVID-19 vaccine and drug development. Specifically, Lloyd and his team will perform preliminary studies on genes involved in the infectious pathways of coronaviruses such as angiotensin-converting enzyme 2.
In addition, this team is using data from the UK Biobank to better understand and share how factors like ethnicity and socioeconomic status can impact research that investigates human genetics’ role in the body’s response to COVID-19. Because this pandemic is only just leaving its early stages, infections follow geographic and family lines. This means researchers need to control for socioeconomic structures to ensure that the solutions developed to address COVID-19 are accurate and consider a diverse population.