3/23/2020 Email From GMS Associate Provost (to PhDs)


To:  GMS PhD Students
From:  Deborah Stearns-Kurosawa, PhD,  GMS Associate Provost and Associate Dean ad interim
Date:  March 23, 2020
RE:  Request for Volunteers

Scientists and students in the CReM, BU/BMC Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Department and Boston Medical Center (BMC) have worked collaboratively to get testing for Covid-19 online at the hospital.  The swabs with patient samples are placed in transport media for delivery to the hospital lab for testing.  Some supplies to make the transport media are in short supply or have delayed delivery dates due to supply problems with vendors.  To address this supply problem, we are making large volumes of transport media in-house which needs to be processed for hospital use.

What we need:  Students who have prior experience with tissue culture methods and aseptic techniques, and strong attention to detail.  We need at least 20 volunteers to work at 5 tissue culture stations with 2 people per station.   We are thinking 4 hour shifts for each team.  We will schedule days/times as permitted by individuals’ schedules.

What work will be done:  Aliquoting transport media into conical tubes under aseptic conditions, labeling tubes, contributing to the overall process/operations of providing transport media for hospital use.  At no time will students be exposed to patient samples.

 Where/When:  This work will be done on the 4th floor of the 670 Albany Street building (behind the building with City Convenience) in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.  We want to get students briefed and onboard as soon as possible.

To Volunteer:  By Wednesday 3/25, please send the following to Kimberly Arena (krarena@bu.edu)

  1. Your name and a brief description of your tissue culture/aseptic technique experience to Kimberly Arena (krarena@bu.edu).  Example:  I was a laboratory technician for 2 years at the University of Buffalo, doing tissue culture with cancer cell lines.
  2. Written permission from your research PI (e.g., email) that it is OK for you to take this time from your other scholarship responsibilities.

You can volunteer for as much as your schedule and other responsibilities permit.  At this time, we cannot provide funding beyond your current stipend.  I note that the residual samples from the clinical lab will be archived for research purposes, so you will be contributing indirectly to the overall research mission of BU and GMS.  I also note that this will make for a very interesting addition to your CV.

With warm regards,
Dr. S-K

Deborah Stearns-Kurosawa, PhD
Associate Provost ad interim
Graduate Medical Sciences
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