COVID-19 Research

COVID-19 Research

Our scientists have helped to answer some of the most important questions about COVID-19.  On this page find out about the UK’s first COVID-19 test megalab and how researchers ‘map’ what the disease is doing. You can also find out how the RECOVERY trial of potential treatments for COVID-19 is being carried out.

Laboratory Testing

Some of our laboratory scientists helped to set up the UK’s first megalab for COVID-19 testing at breakneck speed.

These videos explain why we need to test for the virus, how the laboratory was built, and how the various types of tests work.

Part 1
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Part 2
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Part 3
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Play Video about 3 things everyone should know about a pandemic
Disease Modelling

Find out how data and mathematical models allow us to understand and predict the progression of a pandemic such as COVID-19.

Why is the often quoted R number so important for understanding how a pandemic develops, and for predicting the total number of expected infections?


RECOVERY is the world’s biggest randomised clinical trial of existing treatments that doctors think could help patients in hospital with COVID-19 to get better more quickly or become less seriously ill.

By July 2021, some 40,000 patients had been enrolled in the trial worldwide. Results so far have shown that, whilst some treatments are not effective, drugs called dexamethasone and tocilizumab save lives. In March 2021 it was estimated that the use of dexamethasone had already saved 1 million lives globally. That’s a lot of lives!

 Find out more about the trial here