Jun. 15, 2020

The BGU Coronavirus Task Force has achieved some notable successes in ongoing research in just a few months. President Prof. Daniel Chamovitz launched the task force in March to harness the University's brain power and ingenuity to help cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

"It is our moral obligation to contribute to coping with this pandemic," President Chamovitz said at the launch.  

Since then, BGU faculty and students have addressed the pandemic and its effects from a variety of novel perspectives.

Prof. Angel Porgador(pictured above), who heads the Task Force, and Dr. Tomer Hertz are testing a new method that would make coronavirus testing eight times faster. The method is based on a combination of biology and computer science.

Prof. Ariel Kushmaro, Dr. Yakir Berchenko, Dr. Oded Nir, Dr. Itay Bar-Or, a virologist from Sheba Medical Center, and Prof. Eran Freedler from the Technion have developed a method to track the virus in the sewage and wastewater systems. The virus is transmitted in feces and the method could become an early warning system for outbreak hot spots.

Prof. Porgador and Dr. Mark Schvartzman are also working on a spray-on coating to disinfect and protect surfaces from COVID-19.

Prof. Golan Shahar led a group of psychologists and public health specialists in assessing the Jewish Israeli public's levels of anxieties throughout the lockdown period.

Prof. Galit Nimrod discovered that older adults were more concerned with their loved ones and friends than their own health.

Prof. (Emer.) Shifra Sagy found that right wing voters boosted their resilience because of a "Sense of National Coherence" that left-wing voters lacked in the current coalition constellation.

School of Public Health PhD Student Carolina Tannenbaum-Baruchi teamed up with a local high school robotics club in Dimona to develop a face mask to help people without hearing disabilities communicate with people who have them. The “Read My Lips" facemask is transparent in front and does not fog up.​

To read a comprehensive update on BGU's Coronavirus research click below