UOW supporting the battle against COVID-19

We are working with our partners and communities to support the development of products and processes to help keep Australians safe during the crisis—and to assist Australia to rebuild our economic and social wellbeing.

While supporting students, businesses and staff, UOW is also educating the community, collating evidence of the impact of COVID-19, and advising national decision-makers.

Supporting the development of a COVID-19 treatment

Moleuclar horizons building

We have generated chemical libraries of hundreds of compounds with drug-like properties that are available for testing against SARS CoV2, the causative organism of COVID-19. If an effective drug to treat COVID-19 emerges, UOW will be ready to contribute to the production of the compound(s).

Molecular Horizons brings together researchers who investigate the molecular basis of infectious disease, with the potential to develop new drugs and diagnostic equipment. The facility boasts one of Australia’s most powerful biological electron microscopes. The infrastructure and research expertise to visualise proteins at the atomic level has rapidly become a key weapon in Australia’s battle against coronavirus.

Molecular Horizons: Centre for Molecular and Life Sciences

Preventing the spread

Increasing local hand sanitiser stocks
Delivering training on hygiene and infection control in the workplace
SMART Infrastructure Facility Director Pascal Perez Anticipating people’s mobility changes

Supporting our health care system

Distinguished Professor Gordon Wallace and additive fabrication technician Cameron Angus at the University of Wollongong’s Translational Research Initiative for Cell Engineering and Printing (TRICEP) facility. Producing 3D-printed face shields
Graduate Medicine final year students on placement at Grafton Base Hospital. Graduate Medicine students are ready to step up

iAccelerate startups contributing to the COVID-19 response

Live asset tracking

iAccelerate start-up Binary Tech is rapidly adapting its core IoT technologies to solve new challenges such as live asset tracking and monitoring. Completed projects include real-time tracking for temperature-sensitive biomedical shipments and tracking mobile rental equipment to monitor utilisation and assist recovery (such as beds, respirators, oxygen tanks).

Medical monitoring app

Vygilance has developed an app that assists with personal safety. Users who register after feeling unwell or having been in contact with someone infected with COVID-19 are ensured constant contact with medical authorities who can monitor their daily details. 

Safeguarding psychological wellbeing

  • Researchers at UOW’s Early Start have led a publication in the international journal The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health which creates a set of recommendations for government and parents to ensure that children’s health remains a priority, both in lockdown and beyond. Researchers worked with counterparts in 15 countries, along with representatives from WHO and UNICEF.  
  • Northfields Psychology Clinic at UOW is offering all consultations online and free of charge in response to the COVID-10 pandemic. An evidence-based teaching, research and community clinic, Northfields Psychology Clinic has been providing mental health services to the Illawarra community for more than 35 years.  
  • UOW has conducted a survey believed to be one of the first in Australia to gauge the health and wellbeing of our staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supporting businesses and workers

A student sitting at her desk studying Discounted short courses
iAccelerate building at dusk innovation campus wollongong iAccelerate business training program moves online
Phoenix Program assists business recovery following bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic

Social research on the impacts of the pandemic

Researchers at UOW are working on a study which looks at the impacts of COVID-19 on families and parenting. The research will investigate the impact of changes in work and home arrangements on fathers’ involvement in everyday activities with their children.

Other social research projects looking at the impact of COVID-19 include:

  • Assessing resilience of frontline workers, nurses and teachers;
  • Assessing potential psychological stressors or protective factors;
  • Assessing impact of COVID-19 isolation practices on perceived stress levels in parents of young children;
  • Leading deliberative community engagement on the preferences of the Australian public for disease surveillance;
  • Leading online deliberative events about aspects of the COVIDsafe app;
  • Advising on methodology on First Nations engagement around COVID vaccination prioritisation;
  • Protecting nursing home patients and health practitioners with optimal telehealth decision aid support;
  • Assessing the impact of COVID-19 on cancer screening;
  • Analysing the difficulty of forecasting COVID-19 cases and transmission with relation to financial markets;
  • Investigating how corporate governance and financial structures mitigate the negative market impacts of COVID-19;
  • Assisting national COVID-19 palliative care data collection;
  • Assessing the impact of COVID-19 on residential aged care.