Published: 05/08/2020

Stanford’s Global Health Seed Grant program catalyzes research and encourages the development of innovative solutions to global health challenges. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Stanford Global Health put out a special call for proposals that encourages the development of rapid and innovative responses to help curb the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in underserved areas of the US and in Low- and Middle-Income countries.

With 65 impressive applications for funding, Stanford Global Health held a comprehensive review process to select the winners. With a generous contribution from the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, we are proud to support these five winners:

Point-of-Care N95 Respirator Decontamination Using Humid Heat

Principal Investigators: Paul Yock, Craig Comiter, Tulio Valdez

Research Team: Lawrence Domingo, Avril Jiao, Niki Panich, Jacqueline Speed, Jason Qian, Bryce Yao 

N95 masks are a critical part of the personal protective equipment necessary to prevent transmission of COVID-19 to healthcare workers, yet, there remains a shortage of masks. We aim to develop an affordable point-of-care device to disinfect N95 masks with heat and humidity, conforming to CDC recommendations on the reuse of filtering facepiece respirators, to ease the burden of the N95 shortage. 

Quantitative, chip-based anti-SARS-Cov2 antibody detection with optical metasurfaces

Principal Investigators: Jennifer Dionne, Scott Boyd, Mark Holodniy, Manu Prakash, Butrus Khuri-Yakub, Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, Stefanie Jeffrey

Research Team: Mark Lawrence, Lisa Poulikakos, Amr Saleh, Doa’a Saleh 

Dionne and colleagues are developing a portable antibody assay that can detect COVID-19 specific antibodies and correlate them with viral load. The platform relies on miniature optical nanoantennas made with low-cost manufacturing, for assay deployment to under-resourced regions. 

Rapid development of guidelines for low-cost PPE evaluation and decontamination for resource-limited settings

Principal Investigators: Manu Prakash, Thomas Weiser, Stephen Luby

Research Team: Thomas Baer, Ashley Styczynski, Shailabh Kumar, Laura Kwong, Yasmin Reyes, Marlene Wolfe, Alliya Qazi, Helen Pitchik, Yoshika Crider, Nicole Starr, Ajay Pillarisetti

During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers in low- and middle-income countries are particularly vulnerable to SARS-CoV2 infection as a result of inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE). We aim to address this concern by generating evidence for reuse/extended use, decontamination, and evaluation of PPE using locally-available resources that can enable healthcare workers to protect themselves.

Effects of COVID-19 on Health Seeking Behavior, Stigma and Livelihoods, and Disease Surveillance in Urban Slums in Mumbai

Principal Investigators: Grant Miller, Suhani Jalota

Research Team: Myna Mahila Foundation, India

This project aims to understand the effects of COVID-19 on health seeking behavior, stigma and livelihoods for urban slum families, particularly among women, in Mumbai. Further, through a randomized experiment varying stigma in public health messaging, we observe the changes in people’s health seeking behavior.

Pilot for CA-FACTS (Californians Fighting Against Coronavirus Together Study)

Principal Investigators: Julie Parsonnet, Jason Andrews, Taia Wang

Research Team: Bela Matyas, Sara Cody

Julie Parsonnet, Taia Wang and Jason Andrews are working together to create a rapid system for deploying serologic testing for COVID to vulnerable populations in the US and around the world.  Built around home-collected blood spots, the system exploits the widespread use old (blood spot) and new (smartphone) technologies to collect and convey information to populations in urban and remote locations.