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TGen Calls For Volunteers Who Have Recovered From COVID-19


The Flagstaff-based nonprofit Translational Genomics Research Institute or TGen is calling for volunteers who have recovered from the coronavirus disease to send in blood samples for research. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

The study is open to U.S. residents over the age of 18 who have tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered. Their immune systems may have antibodies that hold clues to fighting the disease. John Altin (all-TIN) is the project’s leader at TGen North. He says the study will inform the development of treatments and vaccines, and also reveal how the virus triggers the body’s immune response.

"We know that the immune response to COVID—although it can protect them, it’s what causes most people to recover—it can also exacerbate disease, and actually it’s the immune response that often lands people in the ICU with severe lung injury," Altin says.

TGen hopes to recruit a few hundred volunteers for the research. They’ll complete an online questionnaire and then receive a blood sample collection kit in the mail. The researchers need two drops of blood, taken a week apart, to be mailed back to the lab.

Anyone interested in participating in the research can sign up at


Melissa joined KNAU's team in 2015 to report on science, health, and the environment. Her work has appeared nationally on NPR and been featured on Science Friday. She grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where she fell in love with the ecology and geology of the Sonoran desert.
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