By Olivia Perron
On Feb. 15 – 19, Emory University took post in the Miller Field House to conduct a research study on Curry students, faculty and staff with COVID-19 antibodies. This is in an effort to further delve into information about COVID-19. More than 450 Curry College volunteers agreed to have two vials of blood, taken by a trained phlebotomist, drawn, and receive news of their antibody status within two weeks of testing.
Students said they were driven to participate in this study, for several reasons, like for family or social matters.
“I was motivated to participate in this research study because over winter break 16 people in my family, including everybody who I live in the same house with, tested positive for covid and I somehow did not, so I am really curious to see what my results say when I get them back,” said Kayla Knudson, a first-year student.
This study comes at a point at the covid crisis to see if the covid infection has actually created anti-bodies in college students and others, and how many already have the anti-bodies. Over the duration of the semester, those who volunteered for the study will receive bi-weekly emails to answer a questionnaire about their socialization habits and if they had contracted COVID-19 during that two-week span. At the end of the semester, students will give two more vials of blood and see if their antibody status changed over the semester.
Everyone who volunteered their blood were able to receive a $10 gift card to Amazon and will receive another $15 gift card at the end of the trial, as long as they met all their requirements as a volunteer for the study.
Jodie Guest, Professor of Epidemiology, and one of the co-principal investigators from Emory University said in a statement, “We are excited to partner with Curry College to look at the durability and protective nature of natural antibodies, and hopefully antibodies from vaccination, in a residential college setting,” Guest Said.
The volunteers are excited to see if they have the antibodies, and Emory University is able to take all the data they are collecting to further the knowledge and research on covid antibodies in college residents. Knowing COVID-19 immune response and disease transmission on campus is important to the control strategies on campus.
Emory University has received more the $88 Million in federal grants to date to study COVID-19.