Masked doctor looking out a window

COVID-19 Response

When COVID-19 spread across the U.S. in March 2020, the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine urgently responded to accelerate research, development, translation and implementation of novel tests, lifesaving treatments and diagnostics.

Now, collaborative teams of scientists are continuing to unravel the mysteries of the novel virus, including using advanced genetic sequencing technologies to investigate how the virus can infiltrate a person's immune system and wreak havoc on organs, tissue and blood vessels, leaving some patients with long-term effects.

Initiatives include:

  • COVID-19 test developments are transpiring inside the state-of-the-art Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory in One Discovery Square, located in the heart of downtown Rochester, Minnesota, where specialized teams of pathologists, clinical laboratory scientists, technologists, project managers and other experts focus on specific clinical applications. Read more on Mayo Clinic's Advancing the Science blog.
  • The COVID-19 Pandemic Response Biobank is serving as a critical research arsenal for scientists. The library of biospecimens — including DNA, serum, plasma, blood and urine, as well as corresponding clinical and patient-provided data — could be key to uncovering why some people suffer long-term consequences while others have little to no symptoms.
  • A team of Center for Individualized Medicine researchers is building a library of genomic data from the saliva of patients who tested positive for COVID-19. They're using a sequencing technology that can read 20,000 genes that code for proteins, plus hundreds of thousands of other genetic areas outside the protein-coding regions that are known to be informative, and thus have the most impact on a patient's health and disease.
  • Researchers in the Center for Individualized Medicine have developed an integrated model to study the genomic and nongenomic factors in the blood of people exposed to COVID-19 to understand a person's likelihood of developing an infection and the anticipated course of the disease.
  • The COVID-19 Microbiome Project aims to determine how environmental factors affect the spread of the virus and to understand its biological characteristics.