UCLA receives $1M for COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative

BRENTWOOD, CA - MARCH 28: A medical technologist moves samples in a biological safety cabinet at the UCLA clinical microbiology lab in Brentwood, Calif., on March 28, 2020. (Photo by Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

A $1 million gift from the Shurl and Kay Curci Foundation will allow UCLA researchers to regularly test front-line workers at UCLA Health and the Los Angeles County Fire Department for active infection and screen them for antibodies and immune response, it was announced on Tuesday.   

The gift will support the UCLA COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative, a partnership of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

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"We need our hospital workers and first responders to feel safe as they work to get all the rest of us through this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," said Ron Rosequist, president of the Shurl and Kay Curci Foundation.

"The work that UCLA is doing will also yield basic data on rates of infection among those critical workers and will help us to understand the level and longevity of immunity in those who have recovered from it. We are very pleased to be able to support such important work."   

The gift will advance research being led by Anne Rimoin, professor of epidemiology at the Fielding School, and Grace Aldrovandi, professor of pediatrics at the Geffen School of Medicine. In particular, it will support the initiative's expansion to thousands of health care workers and first responders at  UCLA Health and the county fire department.   

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