Mass General Brigham Researchers Selected by NIH to Study Long Term Effects of COVID-19 Infection
Research team chosen to coordinate and support analysis of nationwide medical data on COVID “Long-haulers”
Researchers from Mass General Brigham have been selected by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for an important research opportunity to help the country rapidly improve understanding of recovery after COVID-19 infection and to prevent and treat the long-term complications, collectively referred to as Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC).
Mass General Brigham assembled a team to respond to the research opportunities that were announced by the NIH in February as part of the new PASC initiative to characterize the prevalence and risk factors for long-term outcomes of COVID-19 infection and to develop ways to treat or prevent these conditions. The PASC Initiative aims to assemble a nationwide multi-cohort study to help researchers learn more about how COVID-19 may lead to such widespread and lasting symptoms.
“Our hospitals have been on the frontlines of this devastating pandemic and we have mobilized every resource available, but we still don’t know for certain what the long-term health impacts will be for the tens of thousands of patients we cared for or how widespread the long-term public health consequences will be. Through research and discovery, Mass General Brigham is committed to being at the forefront of the public health response so that we can better understand this complicated illness for our patients and others who have been impacted - locally, nationally and throughout the world.”
In a statement announcing the initiative, Francis Collins, MD, PhD, Director of the NIH said, “We believe that the insight we gain from this research will enhance our knowledge of the basic biology of how humans recover from infection, and improve our understanding of other post-viral syndromes and autoimmune diseases, among others.”
Mass General Brigham researchers were selected to serve as the PASC Data Resource Core to support and contribute to the collection, coordination, and analysis of data collected on PASC patients, including COVID-19 “long-haulers,” throughout the nation. The PASC Data Resource Core will provide expertise on study design and facilitate the collection and analysis of standardized data across different cohort studies. The team will be led by Andrea Foulkes, ScD, Chief of Biostatistics at Massachusetts General Hospital, Elizabeth Karlson, MD, MS Director of Rheumatic Disease Epidemiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Shawn Murphy, MD, PhD, Chief Research Information Officer at Mass General Brigham, and will include complementary teams from Harvard Medical School and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
“We are so proud of our talented research leaders at Mass General Brigham who immediately and skillfully responded to the request of the NIH for the patient, medical, and scientific communities to come together. In partnership with the NIH, and most importantly for the benefit of our patients, we look forward to better understanding, managing, and hopefully preventing and treating the long-term medical consequences of this trying infection,” said Ravi Thadhani, MD, MPH, Chief Academic Officer of Mass General Brigham.
The PASC Data Resource Core is a four-year, multimillion dollar project that will begin immediately.
Mass General Brigham:
Bridget Perry [email protected]
About Mass General Brigham
Mass General Brigham is an integrated academic healthcare system, uniting great minds in medicine to make life-changing impact for patients in our communities and people around the world. Mass General Brigham connects a full continuum of care across a system of academic medical centers, community and specialty hospitals, a health insurance plan, physician networks, community health centers, home care, and long-term care services. Mass General Brigham is a non-profit organization that is committed to patient care, research, teaching, and service to the community. In addition, Mass General Brigham is one of the nation’s leading biomedical research organizations and a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more information, please visit massgeneralbrigham.org.