Creating a COVID-19 Testing Lab on Campus
Shortly after UC Riverside closed to protect its community from the spread of COVID-19, the campus began discussions to create its own testing lab to help mitigate the effects of the pandemic. Led by UCR scientists from the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Katherine Borkovich, Professor of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, and Isgouhi Kaloshian, Professor of Nematology, the campus coronavirus testing lab opened in August 2020 and began providing UCR with on-site testing and rapid turnaround of results.
Campus leaders involved in COVID-19 prevention efforts credit the low positivity rate to the proactive efforts in part to the creation of the diagnostic lab that Professors Borkovich and Kaloshian, as well as colleagues from CNAS, assembled from scratch, borrowing some equipment from colleagues and creating their own testing kits. Operating out of the Multidisciplinary Research Building, the lab is able to process up to 800 samples a day from students, faculty, and staff.
2021 Science Lecture Series
The 2021 Science Lecture Series on "COVID Conversations: How the College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences at UC Riverside is combating the pandemic of our lifetime," was a three-part series with CNAS scientists who responded to the pandemic by creating a testing lab on campus for students; conducting research in virology to understand viruses and the development of vaccines; and investigating the assembly and reproduction of the coronavirus in the human body.
The first lecture on "Responding to the pandemic: How UC Riverside scientists created a COVID-19 testing lab for students" was presented by Dr. Katherine Borkovich and Dr. Isgouhi Kaloshian. They shared the challenges and unexpected rewards in creating a COVID-19 testing lab from scratch, in the midst of a global pandemic. Watch Drs. Borkovich and Kaloshian's Science Lecture Series video.