Keele University conference team assists Covid-19 test effort

As part of a national programme to develop antibody tests to track the level of Covid-19 infection in the community, Keele University has assisted in the delivery of what is normally event space to be transformed into a Clinical Trial Unit.

The Staffordshire-based university has joined a national programme to help determine how many people have been infected with the Covid-19 virus. Keele is supporting the second part of the programme called REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT-2), led by Imperial College London, alongside a small number of additional specialist partners. New diagnostic tests will be trialled using frontline workers in a temporary testing centre based on the Keele campus.

Transforming the event space into the Clinical Trial Unit took four days and a team of 10.

Emma Woodcock, head of event and business development at Keele University, said: “I have worked at Keele for over 17 years and have been involved in transforming our commercial event space to host some fabulous events, however working as part of the team to deliver the Clinical Trial Unit has been exceptional.

“In such unprecedented times, everyone involved went the extra mile to deliver the project on time and I feel privileged to have been a part of something so significant. Whilst most of our commercial space remains closed for now, we are proud to be able to have the space utilised for this research and to support the wider community.”

The data generated from the study, which is due to run from mid-June, will help guide the Government’s planning on testing on a national scale.

Professor Pauline Walsh, pro-vice chancellor and executive dean for the university’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, said: “I am delighted that Keele can support this really important work. We have seen the impact of Covid-19 through our partnership working with local health and social care organisations. This study will provide crucial data to influence the future management of the disease.”