Materials en labs made available for hospital

Science Faculty helps UMC Utrecht

Scientists of the Faculty of Science have materials, instruments, knowledge and lab facilities that are also used in the UMC Utrecht, and are very useful when the hospital needs become (even) greater due to COVID-19. To help where possible, the Science Faculty called for materials to be made available to the UMC Utrecht. The response was overwhelming.

Initially, Vice Dean Aletta Kraneveld approached researchers within the Science Faculty to make an inventory of available protective materials and lab materials for diagnostics. Soon lists were shared with materials that were available and could be missed. On 27 March, the first delivery van drove to the UMCU, full of gloves from the labs in the Kruyt building and the Ornsteinlab, among others. But more was offered: entire labs with personnel offered to be available for hospitals, including labs at Pharmaceutical Sciences. According to Kraneveld, the reactions were heartwarming.

 

"People in the lab are eager to help"

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Ineke Braakman, professor in the Chemistry, also responded immediately to the call to assist the UMCU, and also offered to help out the virology colleagues in Veterinary Medicine wherever needed. "We provide materials such as gloves, mouth caps and safety glasses, and also reagents and plastics that we use in the lab”, Braakman says.

“And we also offer our help and knowledge wherever we can”, Braakman continues. “We are a molecular cell biological/biochemical biosafety lab that has a lot of experience with antibodies and also with viruses, such as the flu. That's why we can help with research on coronavirus or help with testing via PCR or ELISA or otherwise. People in the lab are eager to help, but we realise that the quality control of this work is important and that it needs to be done under supervision and direction of an expert. We hope that soon someone will knock on our door to use our services."

Volunteers

Those who do not have these specific skills, can also help the UMCU. Volunteers can already register on the site www.umcutrecht.nl/helpen. The UMCU expects to need extra staff when they will receive more patients with the new coronovirus. "We ask people inside and outside our organisation to indicate how they can make a contribution. In this way, together we will keep the care achievable."

The UMCU has announced that students and employees of Life Sciences-oriented studies and research groups can register via the option 'I work or study at the UMC Utrecht', in which you can select which specific techniques, analyses and lab skills you master.