CHUS Foundation ­allocates $200,000 for COVID-19 research

By Matthew Sylvester, Special to The Record

Four research projects will be given the green light thanks to a donation by the CHUS Foundation.
Four teams of researchers from the CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS will each be given their share of a $200,000 investment by the CHUS Foundation to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
A rigorous selection process between applicant projects ended with four chosen to receive a portion of the donation. Dr William Fraser, scientific director at the Centre de recherche du CHUS (CRCHUS), explained in a press release that the competition was open to all researchers of the CIUSSS, and has encouraged interprofessional collaboration while highlighting individual expertise.
Assistant scientific director at the CRCHUS Anne Morin said in a press release that the funded projects stem from a wide variety of research themes, and that their objectives are in general to identify ways that humans could be protected from the virus.
Heading one of the selected projects is Dr Olivier Lesur, pneumologist at Sherbrooke University. His study aims to differentiate the effects of COVID-19 and the similar, much more known acute respiratory distress syndrome. In a combined effort with scientists from European institutions, Lesur hopes to study the mechanics of how these similar diseases damage the lungs to help advance treatment methods.
Lesur explained that the study will be a pilot project in order to establish the groundwork needed for a larger study in the future. The financial support from the CHUS Foundation will push the project up to a level where it will be possible to apply for the government grants necessary to complete the larger study.
Some of the other projects funded included the implementation of a virtual rehabilitation clinic for COVID-19 patients, where patients can be virtually placed in a familiar environment, and the development of a computer algorithm to help identify infectious threats.

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