Participation In COVID-19 Research Run By Oxford and Columbia

05 - May - 2020

Graduates from the IUG School of Medicine share their experience in a COVID-19 research project run by Oxford and Columbia universities

Dr. Osaid Alser and Dr. Heba Alghoul, graduates from the school of Medicine at the Islamic University of Gaza, have recently participated in a global, virtual study-a-thon to help the international community better understand coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This research collaboration was led by a team from University of Oxford, UK and Columbia University, USA as part of the Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics (OHDSI) research community. 

Two research publications (preprints) have come out of this collaboration so far. The first publication looked at the overall safety profile of different drugs being considered in COVID-19 treatment. The study found that hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin combination therapy doubles the 30-day cardiovascular mortality. The second research paper aimed at comparing the characteristics of individuals who were hospitalized with COVID-19 to individuals previously hospitalized with influenza. The results showed that COVID-19 patients were more likely to be male, younger, and generally healthier than those admitted with influenza.

Dr. Alser and Dr Alghoul said: "It was humbling to be part of this truly international research community to help generate better evidence with regards to COVID-19 epidemiology and treatment".

Group photo from the COVID-19 study-a-thon (Credit to OHDSI webpage)

Link to the publications:
  1. Safety of hydroxychloroquine, alone and in combination with azithromycin, in light of rapid wide-spread use for COVID-19: a multinational, network cohort and self-controlled case series study: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.08.20054551v1?rss=1%22
  2. An international characterisation of patients hospitalised with COVID-19 and a comparison with those previously hospitalised with influenza: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.22.20074336v1