COVID-19

As COVID-19 swept across the globe, we turned our immunology and infectious disease expertise to fight against the pandemic through collaborative research.

We began working on COVID-19 research when the virus’ genome was first released in January 2020. From March through June 2020, our research efforts focused solely on SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and the immune system’s response to it. Working in collaboration with institutes, clinicians, and researchers across Massachusetts, we are committed to harnessing the immune system to end the global pandemic.

Our swift pivot was enabled by generous support from our donors, who reached out to help us in this time of unparalleled need. This flexible funding meant we were able to begin COVID-19 research the moment we recognized this new virus as a global threat. If you would like to donate to the Ragon Institute’s COVID-19 efforts, please follow this link.

Our response to the pandemic was shaped by our strong collaborative ethos. Ragon Director Bruce Walker was a co-founder of the Massachusetts Consortium on Pathogen Readiness (MassCPR), a collection of researchers across the Greater Boston and Massachusetts biomedical ecosystem. Many Ragon faculty joined MassCPR, creating a collaborative force such as had never been seen before.

While safe vaccines have been improved and are currently being globally deployed, we continue to study COVID-19, helping to improve treatments, develop second-generation vaccines, and understand effective responses to new variants of concern.

Many of our labs shut down entirely, or partially shut down, from March-June of 2020. We thank them for their collective effort and incredible sacrifices, which allowed us to minimize risk for our COVID-19 researchers in the moments of greatest need while simultaneously developing and implementing protocols that allowed us to safely return onsite.

Labs Working in this Area

On Site Labs

Alter

Systems Serology

Galit Alter, PhD

LAB INFO

Balazs

Engineering Immunity Against Infectious Disease

Alejandro B. Balazs, PhD

LAB INFO

Barczak

Host-pathogen interactions in mycobacterial infection

Amy Barczak, MD

LAB INFO

Batista

B cells, antibodies, preclinical vaccinology

Facundo Batista, PhD

LAB INFO

Bryson

Immune control of mycobacteria

Bryan Bryson, PhD

LAB INFO

Gaiha

T cells, Vaccines, & Immune Control

Gaurav D. Gaiha, MD, DPhil

LAB INFO

Kwon

Mucosal Immunology, Microbiome, HIV, Clinical Research, Emerging Infectious Diseases

Douglas S. Kwon, MD, PhD

LAB INFO

Pillai

B-cell biology and T-B collaboration

Shiv Pillai, MD, PhD

LAB INFO

Schmidt

Protein Engineering, Therapeutic Development, Viral Evolution

Aaron Schmidt, PhD

LAB INFO

Walker

HIV, virus-specific T cells, elite controllers

Bruce D. Walker, MD

LAB INFO