Grant for Cold/Coronavirus Study by ASU

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NSF Grant Allows ASU to Continue Study of the Common Cold & Coronavirus


By Kenneth Mullinax/ASU 

An ASU scientist will be able to continue her research into the common cold and the coronavirus thanks to the $47,000 extension to a nearly half million dollar grant she received in 2018 from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Qiana Matthews, an associate professor of Microbiology, received the additional funding of her research project titled “Excellence in Research: Innovative Methods and Advanced Science at Alabama State University (IAM-ASU).” 

Matthews is the principal investigator of the research project, which keeps the University at the forefront of this significant disease research. 

"This supplemental grant will keep ASU involved in important research in order to learn more about these disease mechanisms and how they affect humans, plants and mammals," Matthews said. "This will allow us to continue to focus on clarifying interactions between adenoviruses (common cold virus), coronaviruses and other diseases released from donor cells and internalized by recipient cells." 

She said that her study is especially relevant now since one of its focuses is on the coronavirus and how it infects its host. Her hope is to be able to contribute to eradicating the common cold, its rhinovirus, and the coronavirus. 

“All of these proposed studies will provide new information and a greater understanding of exosome biogenesis and virus infections,” Matthews said. “It could significantly advance scientific knowledge in the field of virology and exosome biology.” 


Beyond defeating these diseases, Matthew’s study exposes ASU's graduate students to research in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields. 

IAM-ASU allows underrepresented students in STEM to receive training through cutting-edge research focused on a centuries-old problem, the common cold,” Matthews said. “Through this program, students will be exposed to fields of study such as virology and immunology and have the opportunity to disseminate their work locally and nationally. 


Matthews believes that this project is good for Alabama State University and its students because it places the University at the forefront of cold and coronavirus research. 

"This supplemental grant moves ASU's total NSF funding (for this project) since 2018 to over $547,000 and that allows it to continue its earlier work as well as to tie it all together. In relation to COVID-19 and its coronavirus, our University is involved in offering testing for people and vaccinations due to its partnership with the Alabama Department of Public Health and now we may complement all of that with a continuation of our research about it," Matthews added. 

News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.