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Accelerating COVID-19 discoveries

CSE professor develops simulator to predict COVID-19 trial outcomes 

David Odde, a professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering, is creating a biophysical computer model that simulates COVID-19 on a molecular and cellular level—and tests therapeutic concepts computationally to predict the likely impact of the treatments for affected patients.

The model could steer clinical trials toward potentially more effective interventions and away from less effective ones. Ultimately, optimizing research efforts.

“In parallel, we will work to assemble a multi-scale modeling team that draws in the best minds in this space across the state of Minnesota and makes them available to the public health leaders leading the response to this disease,” Odde said. “This team could develop a coordinated set of models that range from molecular and cellular to tissue and organ level, to population-level epidemiological models.” 

Odde's COVID-19 model could help researchers:

  • Predict trial outcomes
  • Identify novel biomarkers
  • Identify novel targets
  • Stratify patients
  • Triage trial opportunities
  • Identify combination therapies
  • Identify source(s) of variable patient-to-patient outcomes
  • Guide pre-clinical studies
  • Inform clinical trial failure analysis

(Researchers: You can upload your COVID-19 data on the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19) website to help accelerate this work.)

Background and support

The project is a natural extension of Odde’s research interests in creating disease simulators to predict the progression of cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. 

Efforts are supported by UMN Campus Public Health Officer's Rapid Response Research Grants program, designed to help University of Minnesota faculty to catalyze research projects designed to address and mitigate the COVID-19 virus and its associated risks.

Learn more about the COVID-19 rapid response grants on the Office of the Vice President for Research website.


If you’d like to support research at the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering, visit our CSE Giving website

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