Nottingham Universities enable more tests for COVID-19

Friday, 20 March 2020

Universities in Nottingham have today supplied 16 machines to support the national effort in the fight against COVID-19.

The machines, 13 of which were from the five UK campuses at the University of Nottingham, and three from Nottingham Trent University's Clifton Campus were collected by the British Armed Forces. They have a total value of £1 million and can together perform an estimated 20,000 tests a day.

Using a technique of testing called Polymerase Chain Reaction, or PCR, the machines can also be used to test for other viruses such as Hepatitis C and influenzas.

The news comes as more than 600 students from the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham have volunteered to help local hospitals and support NHS staff or researchers responding to the requests from the national government.

Inside the Biodiscovery Institute

Professor Jessica Corner, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange at the University of Nottingham, said: “At this time of unprecedented crisis, the University of Nottingham is committed to supporting our communities, local partners and nation. Already, our researchers, staff and students are working with national government, local hospitals, GP surgeries, Councils and across our communities. The enthusiasm, selflessness and skill of our students and staff has been inspiring to see in action.

“We are so proud of our fantastic medical students organising hundreds of volunteers through their society to help the local front line effort. Of course none of this vital work can be done without the tireless support from our administrative, technical, estates and cleaning staff.”

“Whilst we’re busy supporting our staff and students in this unprecedented situation, we are also committed to support people beyond the university both locally and nationally, said Professor Nigel Wright, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation, at Nottingham Trent University.

He said: “This equipment which is normally used by our researchers will be vital to the national response to COVID-19 and we’re delighted to be working with our friends at the University of Nottingham on this.”


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The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. Ranked 18th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings 2023, the University’s state-of-the-art facilities and inclusive and disability sport provision is reflected in its crowning as The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide Sports University of the Year twice in three years, most recently in 2021. We are ranked seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally. Alongside Nottingham Trent University, we lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, a pioneering collaboration which brings together the combined strength and civic missions of Nottingham’s two world-class universities and is working with local communities and partners to aid recovery and renewal following the COVID-19 pandemic.

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