Top tips for overcoming the impact of the pandemic on scientific discovery
By Maya Dubey, Ph.D.
The early days of the COVID-19 pandemic created a ripple effect throughout the scientific community. Research organizations and academic institutions worldwide had to use data and leverage solutions like outsourcing and cryopreservation to continue to thrive despite the setbacks. For JAX, pivoting due to the impact of the pandemic was business as usual.
As part of our operational best practices, JAX has emergency response plans developed to ensure we can overcome almost any situation and are able to support our customers. From the beginning JAX continued all operations and our inventory of readily available strains (like C57BL/6J, NSG™, and BALB/c) were not impacted. We didn’t stop there though and continue to make changes and introduce new ideas.
Now with a second wave of active COVID-19 cases, use these tips to stay out ahead of the potential disruption to the discovery process.
Since the start of the pandemic, JAX has remained open and continues to offer a steady supply of mice and services to help keep studies on track. With decades of experience with disaster planning and recovery, we were able to quickly plan and act to help scientists minimize or, at times, eradicate the disruption caused by lock downs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the dangers of cytokine release syndrome (CRS) in viral infection, as some patients are made severely ill from their own immune response. CRS is unpredictable and difficult to prevent, and until recently, a lack of effective research tools to explore the causes and mechanisms of CRS has made it difficult to improve understanding of why and how it occurs.
about how JAX has addressed this need with the development of a sensitive and reproducible preclinical research platform that can be used to screen immunotherapies for host response and potential inflammatory events as well as provide valuable insight into the efficacy of anti-inflammatory therapies in infectious diseases (like COVID-19), that can progress to CRS.
At the start of the pandemic and lock downs, JAX went to work finding solutions to support the global scientific community in the race to study the coronavirus. Through the sperm donation of a model from the University of Iowa developed for studying SARS, JAX cryo-recovered and reproduced the novel mouse model for large-scale distribution.
Over the last nine months, we have expanded the portfolio of COVID-19 platforms to include two models, K18-hACE2 ; FcRn-/- hFcRn (32) Tg and hACE2-KI, in addition to the original K18-hACE2 model. Together, these three models allow for the discovery and exploration of virus prevention and vaccine development, as well as both short and long-term viral effects.