Coronavirus: Ben-Gurion University joins the battle

March 15, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Ben-Gurion University of the Negev President Prof. Daniel Chamovitz has launched the BGU Coronavirus (COVID-19) Task Force to harness the University’s brainpower and ingenuity to help cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

BGU President Prof. Daniel Chamovitz launches the BGU Coronavirus Task Force on Thursday morning on the Marcus Family Campus in Beer-Sheva. (Photo Credit: Dani Machlis/BGU)

During a meeting attended by over 50 scientists from departments across the University, Chamovitz declared that the University would set aside resources to bring the most promising projects to fruition.

“It is our moral obligation to contribute to coping with this pandemic,” President Chamovitz wrote in the letter urging all BGU researchers to join the task force.
During the launch meeting, over a dozen ideas were raised by members of departments from different faculties who then broke off into working groups. Several researchers contributed ideas via video conferencing from self-quarantine. In some cases, ongoing projects were quickly repurposed. In others, new collaborations sprung up around the discussion tables this morning.

As everyday life around the world has been affected, the effects of the coronavirus extend beyond the search for a vaccine. In addition to the University’s virologists, BGU scientists and students will address the public health, public policy, engineering, information systems, economic, psychological, technological, tourism and educational challenges.

“Since the outbreak of this coronavirus, it has become an international crisis that affects individuals, families, communities and countries around the world,” President Chamovitz wrote, “I am turning to you, our researchers, to make the coronavirus crisis and its repercussions your top priority, to be creative and practical in order to achieve significant contributions to the national and international challenges that stand before us.”

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