Pioneering Roswell Park-Led Research Effort Applies Precision Medicine to Better Understand COVID-19

BUFFALO, N.Y., May 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- What if we could predict, even before someone contracts the novel coronavirus, how mild or severe a case of COVID-19 they are likely to develop? That's the goal of a pioneering new research effort known as the Western New York Immunogenomic COVID-19 Study first announced in a video press conference last month.

To see the video press conference with the study leads and for more information about the Roswell Park COVID-19 Response Fund, please go to

Led by two senior leaders at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, FRCOG, FACOG, and Carl Morrison, MD, DVM, the study will unite researchers, clinical collaborators and an industry partner in an effort to uncover hidden information from the cells of those who have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, seeking insights on how best to care for those who develop COVID-19 illness.

"We know for various viruses and other bugs that one person will fight off some, but not others, while another person will have a different type of response," notes the new animated video Roswell Park created to explain the new research initiative. "Recent advances in technology have allowed us to closely look at each person's T and B cell receptors in an attempt to explain why each of us may have a different response to specific viruses and other bugs, including COVID-19."

Three collaborating organizations will work with Roswell Park as partners in this first-of-its-kind effort: Catholic Health; the University at Buffalo, through its Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and Thermo Fisher Scientific.

The team will use next-generation sequencing to predict which patients are likely to progress to severe infection that would require more intensive care. The goal is to develop a blood test that will help medical providers to better prognose and triage patients with COVID-19, potentially saving lives and supporting the most effective and efficient use of resources.

About Roswell Park:
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is a community united by the drive to eliminate cancer's grip on humanity by unlocking its secrets through personalized approaches and unleashing the healing power of hope. Founded by Dr. Roswell Park in 1898, it is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in Upstate New York. Learn more at, or contact us at 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or

Contact: Annie Deck-Miller, Roswell Park

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SOURCE Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center