The past week saw major research projects related to the COVID-19 pandemic move forward, with the announcement of a major gift by Hamilton philanthropists Charles and Margaret Juravinski to support new initiatives. 

The couple is donating $3.3 million now to the Juravinski Research Institute, jointly run by McMaster University, Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, to pay for four studies related to COVID-19 and another three studies related to brain health research.

"The impact of their gift will be immediate," said Paul O'Byrne, dean and vice-president of the Faculty. "It is through everyone's efforts that we have hope. As Charles and Margaret say in their letter to the community: "There is more than enough ingenuity and goodwill in the world to defeat this pandemic."" 

The research projects sponsored by the Juravinskis range from studying the efficiency of masks and respirators to capitalizing on data collection and biobanks, and from a focus on mental health and addiction in young people to the recovery of patients with concussion or traumatic brain injury. More details about the specific studies are outlined here: https://healthsci.mcmaster.ca/news-events/news/news-article/2020/04/03/juravinski-research-institute-funds-eight-research-projects

The Juravinskis' message to the community about their gift is found here: https://healthsci.mcmaster.ca/news-events/news/news-article/2020/04/03/a-little-good-news-in-difficult-times-a-letter-to-the-community-from-charles-and-margaret-juravinski

Other moves during the week included our hematologists leading national research into the use of blood plasma from COVID-19 survivors to help others with the virus, and faculty members of the School of Rehabilitation and Department of Medicine heading up the development of clinical guidelines for physiotherapy and for intensive care unit care of patients with COVID-19. 

At the same time, the Health Sciences Library has arranged for free access to the full-text online clinical decision support tool UpToDate for all clinicians during the pandemic, and the university and Hamilton Health Sciences are offering free parking on campus and at hospital sites.