Dr. Melissa Murfin is an Associate Professor of Physician Assistant Studies and Research Coordinator for the Department of Physician Assistant Studies. Her research interests include game-based learning pedagogy in healthcare students and the determination of the clinical effects of pharmacogenetic variants. This study is important to assist in the identification of potential markers that could help predict who might be susceptible to severe complications from COVID.
Dr. Michael Olivier is a Professor of Internal Medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Director of the Center for Precision Medicine. His research interest is in the study of complex human diseases, and the genetic and molecular basis of it. He also directs the proteomics and metabolomics activities at the Center for Precision Medicine. “The COVID epidemic has (at least) two puzzling findings:
- What do not all people who get exposed to the virus get infected, and
- Why do some people stay asymptomatic after infection and never show any symptoms while others require intense medical treatment?
I am hoping that our study can help identify factors that contribute to the outcome of a COVID infection in healthy students and adults, and maybe we can identify some proteins or cells that prevent the challenging health complications once patients are infected”.
Dr. Laura Cox is a Professor of Internal Medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Associate Director of the Center for Precision Medicine. Her research interests include understanding genetic and epigenetic mechanisms underlying heart disease and high blood pressure, and the impact of poor maternal nutrition during pregnancy on offspring cardiovascular health. Dr. Cox also directs the genomics activities at the Center for Precision Medicine and the Center’s biobank which includes 10s of thousands of samples archived over the past 25 years.
For the Elon University COVID project, Dr. Cox will provide expertise for archiving de-identified samples for genomic analysis of samples selected for investigation. Samples will be selected to address important questions about variation in COVID infectively among people, and variation in symptoms among those infected with COVID. Our partnership with Elon University will allow us to address these questions in young adults, which is currently an understudied age group for COVID health impacts.