COVID-19 Pilot Funding Program
Illustration of a COVID-19 particle

By leveraging our existing infrastructure and collaborating with the UK CURE Alliance, we rapidly launched a pilot funding program for research projects in three areas. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Full-time faculty in all title series at the University of Kentucky are eligible to apply. 

Questions can be directed to Joel Thompson, PhD, CCTS Research Development Director, at 


Core 1: Health and Biomedical Science 


  1. Konstantin Korotkov, PhD, UK College of Medicin
    Inhibitors of Papain-like Protease from SARS-CoV-2
  2. Charles Lutz, MD, PhD, UK College of Medicine
    Hypoxia-Induced Dysfunction of Virus-and Fibrosis-Fighting Human NK Cells-A Proposed Cure
  3. Jeremy Wood, PhD, UK College of Medicine 
    Dissecting the Underlying Mechanisms of Hemostatic Dysregulation in COVID-19 Patients


Core 2: Materials and Methods 


  1. Louis Hersh, PhD, and David Rodgers, PhD UK College of Medicine 
    Production of Single Chain Antibodies (Nanobodies) to SARS-CoV-2 Spike Glycoprotein and its Receptor Binding Domain

  2.  Steven Van Lanen, PhD, UK College of Pharmacy
    RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase as an Antiviral Target

  3. Jerold Woodward, PhD,  and Siva Gandhapudi, PhD, UK College of Medicine 
    Identification and Characterization of Virus Specific T Cells in Humans Exposed to SARS-COV-2

Core 3: Social Sciences 


  1. Lance Bollinger, PhD, UK College of Education
    Effects of COVID-19-Induced Social Distancing on University Employees' Physical Activity
  2. Andrew Pliny, PhD, UK College of Communication and Information
    Testing Different Contact Tracing Procedures for Slowing the Spread of COVID-19 

Funding Priorities

Emphasis is on applications that have an impact on the evolving COVID-19 pandemic in the following areas:

  • Basic science approaches on SARS-CoV-2 and its receptor, animal models of COVID-19, risk factors and their direct association with COVID-19
  • Clinical research involving the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and a better understanding of the epidemiology of COVID-19 
  • Community impact of COVID-19. It is likely that these studies will promote team science and involve in the investigating team a professional with knowledge of the pandemic and/or its causative agent SARS-CoV-2 (e.g. clinician, epidemiologist, etc) 
  • High impact on expanding knowledge or developing new knowledge on the COVID-19 pandemic and SARS-CoV-2.

It is an expectation that these funds will be used to obtain preliminary data for an extramural grant submission related to COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2.

Proposals are reviewed on an ongoing basis by members of the UK CURE COVID-19 Review Committee and funding decisions are made based on scientific merit, relevance to program goals, and potential for extramural support.




COVID-19 News from the CCTS