Two people in masks

From left: Trey Toombs and Rushdy Ahmad

With all the anxiety and uncertainty caused by the growing pandemic, I felt fortunate to have had the opportunity to support the diagnostics pillar of the MGB Center for COVID Innovation (MGBCCI) since its inception in late March. Working collaboratively with a large, diverse group of dedicated and talented people, both within the Harvard/MGB community and beyond, on solutions to this health crisis provided a much-needed sense of purpose and empowerment.

Responding to the critical need for the development and deployment of diagnostics for SARS-CoV-2, the MGBCCI crated a pipeline to identify and assess emerging technologies, clinically evaluate the most promising and funnel the best performing into implementation studies. The evaluations were conducted by researchers volunteering their time. However, as volunteers returned to work in their own labs, there was an urgent need to replace them. To lend a hand, a group of us who had worked on identifying and assessing technologies rolled up our sleeves and jumped into the lab. Not only was it a fantastic way to finally meet in person some of the people I had worked so closely with virtually, but it also was exciting to return to the lab after four years away from the bench.

Trey Toombs, PhD
Senior Program Manager, Brigham Research Institute