July 8, 2020 -- The Pershing Square Foundation has awarded $3 million to 19 researchers investigating the novel coronavirus.
The researchers typically focus on cancer research but are instead using their expertise to better understand SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The winning projects include a variety of research topics related to COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2, including potential treatments, genetic or immune determinants, and testing.
The foundation drew funds from supporters of its Pershing Square Cancer Research Alliance, which ordinarily provides cancer research funding. The foundation noted it will not stop supporting cancer research but also recognized an opportunity to leverage the expertise of cancer experts in immunotherapy/immunology, genetics, and epigenetics for SARS-CoV-2 research.
The winning academics come from 10 institutions, including seven located in New York state:
Pershing Square Foundation aims to provide support for biological discoveries that might not otherwise receive funding, the organization noted. The winning proposals had to meet the foundation's criteria for rigorous scientific research that explores risky or early-stage projects that could result in innovation.