University of Maryland COVID-19 Research Expertise Listing

Funding Opportunities for COVID-19 Research
This page includes information about COVID-19 research funding opportunities.

COVID-19 Research Expertise Listing

Please submit your expertise information

Researchers across a wide variety of disciplines at the University of Maryland are using their expertise to address the global COVID-19 pandemic. Faculty researchers with expertise related to COVID-19 can submit their expertise information through the COVID-19 Research @ UMD form.

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Name, College/Department and Contact Link
Area of Study
Project Summary
Team Members

Don Milton
School of Public Health/MIAEH

Transmission, aerobiology, and public health interventions

The objective of this research study, “UMD COVID-19 Surveillance,” led by Donald Milton, MD, DrPH, Professor of Environmental Health and funded by research grants and contracts from the University of Maryland and one or more federal government sources including the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) of the Department of Health and Human Services, is to better understand the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes the Coronavirus Infectious Disease – 2019 (COVID-19) that emerged and was first identified in Wuhan, China, in 2019. The primary goal of this research is to identify how people who have been exposed and are in the early, often asymptomatic days of infection shed virus and transmit the virus and especially whether they shed virus from their lungs in exhaled breath, and whether surgical and homemade masks reduce shedding. This work will contribute to understanding the potential role of airborne transmission, masks as source control, and whether breath measurements and biometric signals can be used to improve early diagnosis of infection. It will also contribute to response to COVID-19 by collecting samples that can be used to understand the immune repose to the virus and to develop new treatments for the infection through the DARPA P3 program.


Brooke Liu
Arts and Humanities (ARHU)/Communication

Epidemiological, Social and Behavioral Research

I have researched and taught crisis communication for the past 20 years, including for infectious disease outbreaks, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters. My current UMD seed grant examines how members of university crisis management teams are responding to the pandemic, lessons they have learned, obstacles they have overcome, and challenges that they still face.


Long Doan
Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS)/Sociology

Epidemiological, Social and Behavioral Research

"This project will examine the impacts of COVID-19 and states’ and local governments’ social distancing efforts on behavior, time spent with others, use of technology, and mental and physical wellbeing. The pandemic’s negative consequences to public health and the economy has received much attention in public and academic spheres. Yet, we know little about the social consequences of COVID-19. How the virus will affect social life as we know remains to be seen, but it is important to examine the impacts it has on daily life in real time. This is especially time sensitive as European nations and some states begin to ease social distancing restrictions. Regardless of the timing and extent of social distancing restrictions, what is clear is that as restrictions are placed, Americans have to adapt their daily routines to navigate their new realities. Social distancing restrictions may increase social isolation, lead to an increase in divorce, and have negative consequences on mental and physical health due to anxiety related to the disease.

To address this question, we leverage data from several hundred respondents’ daily time use before the pandemic to create a natural experiment that isolates the effects of the pandemic on changes in behavior. In addition, we will recruit a total of 2,000 respondents from online crowdsourcing panels like Prolific Academic and Mechanical Turk. We will then follow-up with all respondents after the pandemic subsides. Using this approach, we will have data on people’s social behaviors before, during, and after the pandemic. We will field a survey to collect relevant information respondents’ daily behavior and the context for those behaviors. The survey will collect data on sociodemographics, typical sleep, work, and exercise patterns as well as typical approaches to division of labor for housework and carework. In examining changes in behavior due to the pandemic, we can see if distinct clusters of social behaviors emerge and whether these types of behaviors relate to changes in mental health. We are particularly interested in exploring how the effects of COVID-19 varies by gender, sexuality, family structure (parental and marital status), race/ethnicity, and immigrant status–all key sociodemographic characteristics that affect time use and wellbeing. In doing so, we can provide evidence-based recommendations to address the social consequences of the unfolding pandemic."

Liana Sayer
Jessica Fish

Lei Zhang
A. James Clark School of Engineering (ENGR)/Maryland Transportation Institute

Epidemiological, Social and Behavioral Research

An interactive COVID-19 impact analysis platform with a focus on mobility, economic, and health impact at:

Lei Zhang
Michale Pack

Rick Blanton
A. James Clark School of Engineering (ENGR)/EIT / Strategic Operations

PPE fabrication

Using additive manufacturing to bridge the gap between front line medical professionals (hospitals & first responders) need for PPE and industry's ability to handle the increased demand.

Jim Zahniser

Jonathan Dinman
Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences (CMNS)/Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics

Diagnostics, Vaccines, Therapeutics and Drug Development

SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, uses a molecular mechanism called Programmed -1 Ribosomal Frameshifting (-1 PRF) as a critical developmental switch. Altering -1 PRF has been shown to interfere with the replication of many viruses, including SARS-Co-V. We are using genetic and biochemical/biophysical tools to illuminate the SARS-CoV-2 frameshift signal. We are also developing assays to screen for small molecules that interact with, and alter the activity of this -1 PRF signal.

Wade Winkler

Ming Hu
Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (ARCH))/Architecture

Design and Health

Origami inspired mobile clinic


Nathan Fox
Education (EDUC)/HDQM

Epidemiological, Social and Behavioral Research

We are tracking the mental health of a sample of adolescents and their parents who we have followed since infancy and on whom we have pre-covid measures of mental health.


Axel Krieger
A. James Clark School of Engineering (ENGR)/MechE, Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices

Medical Device Development

1. Teleoperated In-ICU Robotics to Reduce Exposure of Critical Care Personnel
Critical care personnel often must enter contaminated area to make simple adjustments to equipment such as ventilators or infusion pumps. Each visit requires use of another set of PPE masks, gowns, etc. We are building low cost teleoperated robot systems with video camera and custom finger to push buttons or operate touch screen displays. Here is a video of a prototype robot that UMD student Misha Khrenov built to control an ICU ventilator touchscreen:

2. Patient Hood to Reduce Exposure of Critical Care Personnel
Critical care personnel are at risk of infection when interacting with COVID-19 patients. The risk is especially high during intubation and other airway manipulations. We are building a low-cost patient hood that provides access to the patient and provides a negative pressure environment using available suction ports. We are submitting an FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) so we can clinically test and distribute the hood.

3. Testing Booth Development to Reduce Exposure of Medical Personnel
Medical personnel is at risk of infection when interacting with COVID-19 patients during testing. Testing requires use of large amount of PPE. We are developing a positive pressure booth that protects medical personnel during testing for deployment with the Baltimore City Health Department. The rapidly deployable booth could especially be used to help combat health disparities. Here is a video of the prototype booth that students and Lidia Al-Zogbi, Jiawei Ge, and engineer Kevin Aroom built:

UMD: Jason Brookman, Ethan Reggia, Kevin Aroom, Thorsten Fleiter.
External: Jason Farley, Russ Taylor, Peter Kazanzides

Margaret Scull
Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences (CMNS)/Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics

Virus-host interactions

Project 1 (Mutli-PI: Scull / DeStefano) aims to generate novel, high-affinity aptamers to block SARS-CoV-2 entry into cells and to develop an in vitro platform to assess the efficacy of candidate SARS-CoV-2 entry inhibitors using well-differentiated cultures of human airway epithelium and SARS-CoV-2 pseudoparticles.

Project 2 (Multi-PI: Scull / Rosenberg) aims to use well-differentiated cultures of human airway epithelium and novel transcriptomics methods to define the host response to SARS-CoV-2 at single cell resolution.

Dr. Jeffrey DeStefano (UMD; Project 1);
Dr. Brad Rosenberg (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Project 2)


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