La Jolla doctor awarded $1.4 million to study COVID-19 in Latino Americans
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The Latino populations have been particularly hard hit by COVID-19 cases.
Hispanic and Latino Americans have been hospitalized with COVID-19 at more than four times the rate of white Americans. This huge disparity can be linked to lower access to health insurance and health care, as well as a higher likelihood of exposure through essential jobs.
Dr. Daniela Weiskopf from The La Jolla Institute for Immunology & National Cancer Institute has been granted $1.4 million to examine the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 in study volunteers from Puerto Rico, where at least 75% of the population identifies as Hispanic or Latino.
Dr. Weiskopf says she wants to understand whether differences in the immune response play a role as well.
She will work closely with the University of Puerto Rico.
The five-year project is part of the NIH’s Serological Sciences Network (SeroNet), the largest coordinated effort to study immunology and COVID-19 in the US. The ultimate goal of SeroNet is to speed delivery of testing, treatments and guide vaccine development for COVID-19.