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LabKey Open Research Portal for COVID-19 Research Studies

Researchers focusing on COVID-19 are using the LabKey Open Research portal to collaborate and share study data. Teams from the Dave O’Connor and Tom Friedrich labs at the University of Wisconsin have started The CoVen”– a collaboration and data sharing initiative for researchers across a variety of institutions studying the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The diverse data shared in the portal is derived from both human clinical samples and nonhuman primate models. The CoVen teams are contributing to COVID-19 research by focusing on the following key areas:

  • Collaboration on nonhuman primate research studies of the virus. 

Since SARS-CoV-2 causes respiratory disease in infected rhesus macaques and other nonhuman primates, they are a useful animal model for COVID-19.  This includes developing and sharing a Clinical Scoring System and Lab Value Reference Guide to help maintain data consistency across future nonhuman primate COVID-19 studies. Information on animal model development and links to COVID-19 animal model preprints are also made available for reference and exploration

  • Conducting longitudinal viral genome sequencing from human isolates to understand virus evolution.

Viral RNA sequencing from human isolates gives insight into the transmission chain from person to person, and how it differs from city to city.

  • Optimizing assays for virus and antibody detection in nonhuman primate and human clinical samples. 

The development of assays to rapidly detect infections is essential in curtailing the pandemic. The O’Connor Lab is developing assays to detect COVID-19 viral nucleic acids in swab samples to detect current infections, as well as detect antibodies targeting SARS-CoV-2 in serology samples to determine if someone has been previously exposed and mounted an immune response.

LabKey Open Research Portal for COVID-19 Collaboration

Built using LabKey Server, the LabKey Open Research portal helps CoVen researchers directly coordinate with collaborators to post real-time updates and monitor the progress of ongoing studies. The portal provides a platform that facilitates communication, data uploads, and efficient tracking of updates. These real-time updates allow the CoVen team to fine tune study designs and discuss future directions of studies based on data from each site.

By sharing real-time study updates on the portal, research teams from around the world have accessed the data. This has facilitated further collaboration and helped the CoVen team to learn from other research studies, share and develop standardized clinical scoring criteria, PET/CT imaging techniques, virological and immunological assays, and study designs.

Open Research Portal projects are freely available to researchers. If you are interested in sharing real-time data through the portal, please contact us.