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2020 Special Call for COVID-19 Projects (WINNERS ANNOUNCED)

 2020 Special Call for COVID-19 Projects: 

  • Christina Jamieson, PhD: "Inhibition of SARS-CoV2 by transcriptional repression of the host viral entry co-factor, TMPRSS2"
  • Pradipta Ghosh, MD and Soumita Das, PhD: "Targeting the fatal 'Cytokine Storm' in COVID-19: Phase '0' Trials in Stem-Cell Derived Models"
  • Ronald Evans, PhD: "Vitamin D therapy to prevent acute respiratory infection (ARI) and pulmonary fibrosis in COVID-19 patients"


Dear colleagues,

We are writing to solicit proposals to support promising discovery, preclinical and clinical trial stage projects that could quickly advance treatments to COVID-19 patients in need.  We anticipate to fund up to 4 projects at $50,000 each.

What activities will we support? 

Sanford Center resources will support rapid research focused on immediate outcomes and deliverables to mitigate SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19 disease severity with the following exceptionsFaculty Salary Support, Tuition Remission, and Overhead Costs


  • Only projects pursuing the development or testing of a candidate for COVID-19 will be considered.
  • The applicant must be ready to initiate the work on the funded project within 30 days of approval.
  • Project must meet Sanford Center's mission- to accelerate the development of drugs and cell therapies inspired by and/or derived from current human stem cell research.

Application Requirements

Applicants must submit 2-page project proposals for a maximum of $50,000 direct costs and 6 months duration with the  following information:

  • Proposed PI name
  • Title of project
  • Scientific evidence for the value of the approach
  • Defined outcome: Each proposal must describe an actionable deliverable achieved within the duration and budget of the funding.
  • Feasibility: Each proposal should describe access to the required personnel, equipment, and resources necessary for the project.  Applicants should demonstrate possession of or access to appropriate tools, technologies, and specimens as well as personnel available in a continuing shelter-in-place scenario. (e.g. laboratory facilities and equipment, animal facilities, etc.)
  • Impact: Potential for the project to have a short term (6-12 months) impact on diagnosis or treatment of SRAS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19 disease.
  • Estimate costs for the entire project.  Specify co-funding if any (optional).

Proposals must be emailed to Roxanna Noursamadi, Business Operations Analyst ( by                  May 22, 2020 (Now Closed).   

We look forward to hearing from our colleagues about urgent research to mitigate the pandemic. 


Catriona Jamieson, MD, PhD
Director, Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center
UC San Diego Health
on behalf of the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center Executive Committee