Responding to COVID-19

With the rapid onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) has moved swiftly to respond to many new challenges. 

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2019-nCoV (Credit: CDC)

More than 15 research teams have expanded their portfolios to accelerate COVID-19 research, building on established scientific principles. Global health experts and epidemiologists are furnishing policy makers both in the U.S. and around the world with analysis and tools to make informed, evidence-based decisions. Students and alumni are mobilizing and finding new ways to support their communities — and health systems — in their hour of need.

Collectively, GUMC’s contributions will help to ensure that our community, country, and world are better equipped to manage the current crisis, as well as strengthening preparedness for the future.


Image of report cover featuring the words “Governance Preparedness: Initial Lessons from COVID-19, Background report commissioned by the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board, Center for Global Health Science & Security, Georgetown University, July 2020”

Georgetown Global Health Center Issues Pandemic Preparedness Report and COVID-19 Lessons

In a new report, Georgetown global health experts say the success of any effort to redress pandemic preparedness failures demonstrated by COVID-19 requires a re-centering of governance that would include greater accountability, transparency, equity, participation and the rule of law.

Mark Dybul

Georgetown’s Mark Dybul Named to Independent Panel Examining WHO’s Response to COVID-19

Ambassador Mark Dybul, MD, professor of medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center and co-director of its Center for Global Health Practice and Impact, has been named to a prestigious panel tasked with examining the World Health Organization’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A screenshot from the web-based virtual simulation scenario shows bed and simulated patientbased

O’Neill Family Foundation Clinical Simulation Center at NHS Goes Virtual During Pandemic

For countless hours over months, Kelli Giffin, who manages the O’Neill Family Foundation Clinical Simulation Center in St. Mary’s Hall, an experiential learning laboratory, worked to conceptualize and create a web-based simulation tool suitable for use via distance learning during the pandemic.

A large number of people swim in a lake and play on the beach without social distancing or masks

Misconceptions About Weather and Seasonality Impact COVID-19 Response

Misconceptions about the way climate and weather impact exposure and transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, create false confidence and have adversely shaped risk perceptions, say a team of Georgetown University researchers.

A photoillustration of the SARS-CoV-2 virus particles superimposed on images of cells taken via microscope

Georgetown Applying Patented Technology to Develop Fast and Accurate COVID-19 Test

Georgetown University Medical Center biochemist Mark Danielsen, PhD, thinks he has a solution for making a better test for COVID-19.

A computer and smartphone display COVID-19 information

COVID-19 Symptom Tracker Ensures Privacy During Isolation

An online COVID-19 symptom tracking tool developed by researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center ensures a person’s confidentiality while being able to actively monitor their symptoms.

Leveraging Our Strengths

While the COVID-19 pandemic presents the medical and scientific community with unprecedented challenges, the unique nature of the virus provides for wide-ranging areas of scientific and public health exploration. From the lab to the clinic to the policy space, GUMC is building on its existing expertise to address some of the most pressing questions surrounding this pandemic.

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Research Projects

The unique nature of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID-19, provides for wide-ranging and potentially impactful areas of scientific exploration and understanding. The medical center is supporting 15 teams of investigators conducting research that covers a remarkable breadth and depth of critically important problems related to COVID-19.

Read About Our Research Projects

A world map with countries affected by COVID-19 highlighted in blue

Global Health Centers

Center for Global Health Science and Security: Developed in response to calls from local governments for more information on how to protect their communities, the GHSS, in partnership with NTI and the Center for Global Development, developed the COVID-19 Frontline Guide, an online tool featuring eight indicators of progress for self-assessment and seven key actions that each include checklists of decision points.

Center for Global Health Practice and Impact: The CGHPI team is currently working in several countries to tap into and support local communities of practice around public health issues including COVID-19 — leveraging the connections and innovation at the local level and linking local health service delivery with national policymaking.

A computer illustration of the SARS CoV-2 virus particles with antibody symbols and DNA double helix

Clinical Trials Involving COVID-19

Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, in collaboration with MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, has begun a study to test for specific virus antibodies in people with cancer, who are vulnerable to COVID-19, as well as employees of the hospital or GUMC employees working in a hospital setting. In the coming weeks, Georgetown will offer additional clinical trials related to COVID-19 and its manifestations.