As the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak was becoming obvious in February, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research put out a rapid response funding call
to researchers across the country.
Dr. Dylan Pillai responded to that call and his $957,000 project (which includes $250,000
through Genome Canada) was approved. He is a microbiologist and Professor of Medicine at the University of Calgary and will work with Alberta Precision Labo
ratories to develop point-of-care testing for use in the current COVID-19 pandemic and in any future viral outbreaks. He already has a prototype (shown above, photo by Riley Brandt, University of Calgary
) and over the coming months will create a tool that can rapidly identify specific viruses outside hospitals or laboratories.
Dr. Pillai spoke with freelance broadcaster Don Hill about the test and how it could be used in pandemic situations.