OMRF Says COVID Research Could Impact Other Projects


Monday, September 28th 2020, 5:32 pm
By: Karl Torp


The greatest medical and science minds in the world are focused on defeating COVID-19, but researchers in the Oklahoma City metro say that’s having a negative impact on their work fighting other illnesses.

“Sort of on pause, if you will,” said Dr. Courtney Montgomery about the current state of her research on inflammatory disease Sarcoidosis.

Montgomery said the potential life-saving advancements made in COVID research is extraordinarily important, but it's coming at the expense of other research.

“A four-month lag for us having patients come in could turn into a lag of one to two years before the next grant can be obtained,” said Montgomery.

COVID restrictions have limited staff on the OMRF campus and when patients can come in for an appointment.

Skelton crews are being used in labs.

OMRF has more than 700 people on staff, but on Monday, its campus appeared almost empty.

“In addition to COVID, we still have a lot of diseases we need to understand and treat better,” said Dr. Gabriel Pardo, who runs OMRF’s MS Center of Excellence.

Doctors fear grants for non-COVID research could dry up, as the coronavirus get the lion’s share of new available funding.

What kind of affect this will have fighting other diseases is tough to calculate now, but OMRF doctors said it will no doubt have an impact.

“We are going to see those consequences, we are going to see this flourish in a bad way for our patients,” said Pardo.