The COVID-19 pandemic has exceeded 41 million confirmed cases and 665,000 deaths in the US as of September 2021. Racial and ethnic minority groups including Latinos and African Americans are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. COVID-associated hospitalizations in children have been rising rapidly in recent weeks. Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is the primary cause of death. Even if patients survive the acute illness, 30%-50% of them are still battling debilitating lung damage and other symptoms of ‘long COVID’ many months after the infection.
There are currently no effective treatments available to COVID survivors with lung damage due to the illness. Graduate student Lexi Crowell in Dr. Zhao's laboratory at UCI is developing a novel stem cell therapy that can treat ARDS and prevent long-term COVID. Our approach transplants stem cells via IV infusion which directly target inflammatory processes in the infected lungs, thereby enhancing efficacy and reduce systemic side-effects.
If successful, the proposed therapy can save 100,000s of lives and improve the quality of life of millions of COVID-19 recoverees, across all ages and backgrounds. Our goal is to raise money to pay for experimental materials, support student researchers, and fast track this therapy for clinical and human trials. Please help us reach our ZotFunder goal of $50,000.
We appreciate your support at any level. Every gift brings us one step closer to reaching our goal!