Research Questions


What are the early immune responses that protect against SARS-CoV-2?
  • B cells/antibody response
  • T cells
  • Natural killer cells
  • Monocytes/myeloid cells
What are the determinants of COVID-19 severity, from asymptomatic to severe disease (ARDS, cardiac complications, death)?
  • Genetic
  • Immunologic
  • Clinical
  • Epidemiologic
  • Behavioral


Aim 1: Determine the timing and magnitude of the host cellular and humoral immune responses that predict
  • COVID-19 disease severity
  • SARS-CoV-2 viral load and infectivity
Aim 2: Identify the inflammatory pathways associated with long-term end-organ sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection
  • Pulmonary
  • Cardiac
  • Neurologic
  • etc.
Aim 3: Provide a platform to perform early phase I COVID-19 treatment trials

In vivo clinical and preclinical studies using interventional study designs allow direct testing of novel hypotheses generated in the lab.

Preliminary Work 

SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells exhibit unique features characterized by robust helper function, lack of terminal differentiation, and high proliferative potential

Niedelman, Lee & Roan bioRxiv 2020
Niedelman, Lee & Roan bioRxiv 2020


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Collaborative Science

Host genetics







SF Health Network



EMORY CHIRP Team: Eliver Ghosn, Astrid Kosters, Devon Eddins, Ben Babcock, Junkai Yang


We are currently seeking funding for our clinical research study. Please contact us if you are interested in contributing to our efforts.

*Please note on the giving form that the gift is in honor of Dr. Sulggi Lee to ensure that it is directed towards her research.

Donate Now

~$13,000 will approximately cover the cost to enroll ONE study participant to complete the study (material and supplies only; does not include research salary support costs). Supplies and materials included in these costs are blood collection tubes, nasal/oropharyngeal swabs, biospecimen collection cups, PPE, alcohol-based cleaning supplies, mobile van costs, sample processing, sample shipping, and biospecimen storage costs.

  • Fast Grants Award
  • Van Auken Private Foundation
  • David Henke
  • The Roddenberry Foundation, Gladstone Institutes
  • Program for Breakthrough Biomedical Research (UCSF)