media release

Health sciences expert joins in national effort to accelerate COVID-19 research

March 06, 2020

Ian Bryce, University Communications and Marketing, 236-880-2187,


As part of the federal government’s infusion of funding announced today to combat COVID-19, Simon Fraser University health sciences professor Kelley Lee is leading a project that will support global coordination of the COVID-19 outbreak response.  

Lee and her team will use $500,000 in funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to help define, categorize and track cross-border measures adopted by countries and private companies during the COVID-19 and previous outbreaks. The team, based in Vancouver, Hong Kong, Sydney and Washington, D.C., will compare this data with measures adopted during previous public health emergencies, and assess evidence on their effectiveness.

Working closely with the World Health Organization and other key public health partners, her team will collect and analyze new data, and combine it with existing datasets, to support governments and companies to make better decisions during outbreaks such as COVID-19. The research, practically, supports efforts to mitigate the rapid spread of COVID-19 through strengthened global coordination under the International Health Regulations.

“We know that governments and companies are under tremendous pressure to act quickly and effectively during a fast moving event such as COVID-19," says Lee, who also holds a Canada Research Chair in Global Health Governance. “We want to better understand what certain cross-border measures are being adopted, why they are being adopted, and whether they are actually effective. We can then use that knowledge to create a decision tool that will support more evidence-informed decision making."





As Canada’s engaged university, SFU works with communities, organizations and partners to create, share and embrace knowledge that improves life and generates real change. We deliver a world-class education with lifelong value that shapes change-makers, visionaries and problem-solvers. We connect research and innovation to entrepreneurship and industry to deliver sustainable, relevant solutions to today’s problems. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – SFU has eight faculties that deliver 193 undergraduate degree programs and 127 graduate degree programs to more than 35,000 students. The university now boasts more than 160,000 alumni residing in 143 countries.

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