Support COVID-19 Research


Progress and Highlights

In April 2020, Rice University announced the creation of the Covid-19 Research Fund, internal funding aimed at combatting the pandemic that was rapidly unfolding around us. In a month’s time, we received 56 research proposals from across all of our Schools. The Covid-19 Research Fund Oversight and Review Committee, led by Marcie O’Malley, selected 20 projects for funding across a broad range of disciplines, and in collaboration with Texas Medical Center and Greater Houston organizations. A year later, we would like to share the progress and highlights of the funded projects. Many of the projects are ongoing, expanding, and leading to publication and external funding opportunities. We wish to acknowledge and thank all of the project teams, including the many other Covid-19 research teams on campus, for their research efforts and findings towards a better understanding of this public health crisis and global preparedness for future pandemics.

Awarded Projects

The Rice University COVID-19 Research Fund Oversight and Review Committee announced the initial projects to receive funding. More information about the projects can be found in the April 20, May 7, and May 26 Rice News features.

"Air quality impacts of COVID response policies”
Daniel Cohan (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Daniel Kowal (Statistics)

“Rice University survey of Harris County residents to identify barriers to complying with stay at home orders during COVID-19 pandemic”
Flavio Cunha (Economics), Patricia DeLucia (Psychological Sciences), Fred Oswald (Psychological Sciences), Ekim Cem Muyan (Texas Policy Lab), E. Susan Amirian (Texas Policy Lab)

“The environmental impacts of COVID19 in Texas: Understanding trade-offs of plausible low-carbon futures”
Sylvia Dee (Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences), Ted Loch-Temzelides (Economics), Caroline Masiello (Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences), Mark Torres (Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences)

"Political alignment and COVID-19 response of local governments"
Hulya Eraslan (Economics), Rosella Calvi (Economics), Dibya Deepta Mishra (Economics), Ritika Sethi (Economics)

"Ken Kennedy-MDACC D3CODE Collaboration"
Lydia Kavraki (Computer Science), Angela Wilkins (Ken Kennedy Institute)

"Reducing COVID-19 effects on human service employee well-being"
Danielle King (Psychological Sciences)

"Dynamic functional data analysis: New statistical tools to "flatten the curve"
Daniel Kowal (Statistics), Thomas Sun (Statistics)

"Mobile phone-based serological test for rapid detection of COVID-19"
Peter Lillehoj (Mechanical Engineering), Wen Hsiang Chen (Baylor College of Medicine), James Le Duc (University of Texas Medical Branch)

"Point-of-care device for the rapid identification of high-risk COVID-19 patients"
Kevin McHugh (Bioengineering), Peter Lillehoj (Mechanical Engineering), Cassian Yee (MD Anderson Cancer Center)

"Stay-at-home stress: A spatial survey of low-income households under and after COVID-19"
Amelyn Ng (Architecture), Gabriel Vergara (One Architecture & Urbanism)

“Applied medical humanities for public health: How images, narratives, and histories shape pandemic response”
Kirsten Ostherr (English), Lan Li (History), Thomas Cole (McGovern Medical School), Robert Peckham (Hong Kong University), Sanjoy Bhattacharya (York University)

"The co-development of adversity across social contexts with attitudes, well-being, and personality during the COVID-19 pandemic"
Fred Oswald (Psychological Sciences), Rodica Damian (University of Houston), Patrick Hill (Washington University in Saint Louis), Tingshu Liu (University of Houston)

“END CoV-2: Evaluation of a novel point-of-care diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2”
Rebecca Richards-Kortum (Bioengineering), Kathryn Kundrod (Bioengineering), Kathleen Schmeler (University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center)

“A low-cost, large-scale method to help surgical masks filter aerosolized COVID-19”
Jacob Robinson (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Caleb Kemere (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Sahil Kuldip (University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center)

"Data-driven dynamic nurse scheduling in response to COVID-19 driven uncertainty"
Andrew Schaefer (Computational & Applied Mathematics), Illya Hicks (Computational & Applied Mathematics), Joseph Huchette (Computational & Applied Mathematics), Nicole Fontenot (Houston Methodist Hospital)

"Viral neutralization strategy for COVID-19"
Laura Segatori (Bioengineering), Omid Veiseh (Bioengineering)

“Surveillance of Houston’s wastewater to track community COVID-19 infection dynamics”
Lauren Stadler (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Katherine Ensor (Statistics), Loren Hopkins (Statistics; Houston Health Department)

“Making voting safe for voters and poll workers: Meeting the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic"
Robert Stein (Political Science), Philip Kortum (Psychological Sciences), Claudia Ziegler Acemyan (Psychological Sciences), Daniel Wallach (Computer Science), Elizabeth Vann (Center for Civic Leadership)

"TunesFlow: Quantifying the safe distancing needs for wind instruments and singing"
Ashok Veeraragahavan (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Robert Yekovich (Shepherd School of Music), John Mangum (Houston Symphony), Ashutosh Sabharwal (Electrical and Computer Engineering)

"Analyzing oxygen sensor capabilities for NASA-designed COVID-19 oxygen ventilators"
Michael Wong (Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering), Rafael Verduzco (Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering), John Graf (NASA Johnson Space Center).

Support Covid-19 Research

Rice University has launched a university-wide research accelerator fund to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. With $500,000 in initial funds and a goal to raise $1 million, the grant program will enable Rice faculty to pursue a range of important initiatives with maximum speed and flexibility. Please consider supporting Rice faculty in their efforts to address the immediate and long-term effects of the global crisis.