Resilience, ingenuity define UofSC's COVID response

VIDEO: Pharmacy researchers build a faster test

From the classroom to the research lab to the front lines of testing and tracing, the University of South Carolina community has taken extraordinary steps over the past year to safeguard its students, faculty and staff in the face of COVID-19.

As we mark the one-year point of the pandemic, here’s the first in a three-part video series documenting the resilience, ingenuity and commitment that have guided us through this period.

Professor Philip Buckhaults in the College of Pharmacy quickly realized the threat of COVID-19 and collaborated with researchers at Yale University to create a test that used a person’s saliva to diagnose the disease. The noninvasive test, developed during the spring of 2020, used supplies that were plentiful, unlike the materials needed for nasal swab testing at the time. Students were involved in collecting and testing saliva samples, and results could be shared within 24 to 48 hours.

And while these sorts of processes typically take years of research and clinical trials, the saliva test was quickly developed through collaboration across two leading research universities. The new Diagnostics Genomics Lab, created for implementing the testing on campus, will continue to operate as a clinical outlet for discoveries in pharmacogenomics, beyond its use during the pandemic. 


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