Email Charity number:1139383 President: Sir Paul Nurse

A predictive model for COVID-19

Emma Braybrook
Warwick Medical School

Around one third of patients who enter hospital with COVID-19 develop severe disease and for many, the effects of COVID-19 continue for weeks or months beyond initial infection. The vast body of evidence gathered over the last year on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 has enabled researchers to better understand the effects the illness can have on the body; however, we still do not fully understand the how, or which patients are likely to progress to severe illness. Proposed mechanisms that link multi-organ system involvement and abnormal clotting, highlighted as a likely contributing factor to unfavourable outcomes, are endothelial dysfunction and hyperinflammation. This proposal aims to build upon existing work carried out on cytokines and blood markers of endothelial dysfunction and focus on the role of neutrophils through measurement of the proteins and DNA they release, particularly in the context of an autoimmune condition known to cause excess clotting. In addition, this project will explore a new method to mechanically trap and measure aspects of neutrophils directly, allowing for more accurate quantification.

Evidence to support this hypothesis put forward by Emma Braybrook would be used to enable further grant applications, supporting a larger study. In the first instance, this would be carried out on suitable samples from the vast COVID repository at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire. The aim is for the work to feed into the creation of a universally accepted predictive model for COVID-19, to support medical decisions and management of patients, allowing for earlier interventions and optimal resource allocation for those most at risk of increased mortality.

Supporting carefully selected research projects in Warwickshire universities, hospitals and Wellesbourne Crop Centre