Study Information

The CHIRP study is a prospective longitudinal cohort study designed to understand how household transmission, genetics, and immune response differentiate the severity of response between individuals. By determining the natural host immune mechanisms that control SARS-CoV-2 infection, this information can be used to identify specific innate immune pathways that might be modified for prevention or treatment of COVID-19.


The COVID-19 pandemic has caused devastating morbidity and mortality worldwide. However, variations of the virus itself does not seem to explain the person-to-person variability in clinical course. Variation in host genetics and host-specific immune responses likely play a major role in determining the severity of COVID-19. We are also studying external factors, such as habits and other medical conditions, to understand how these interact with intrinsic host factors to influence disease progression.

Patients who progress to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome, for example, demonstrate increased expression of inflammatory biomarkers, but little is known about the timing and magnitude of these host-mediated immune responses, which is needed to effectively design safe clinical trials to reduce COVID-19 severity. Additionally, there are increasing reports of symptoms in other organ systems, such as gastrointestinal, otolaryngeal, ocular, and cardiac manifestations. In order to protect the community and develop appropriate pharmacotherapies, we will need to understand the early acute immune response and high rates of asymptomatic infection.

The cohort infrastructure also provides a platform upon which to perform outpatient early treatment COVID trials, if feasibility of enrolling and intensively sampling and following up early COVID+ patients is demonstrated


Purpose of the study:
To find out why some individuals have more severe symptoms of COVID-19 while others have little to no symptoms. For example, factors related to your:

  • Genetics
  • Immune defenses
  • Personal characteristics (gender, age, medical conditions, habits like smoking, etc.)
  • To use this information to potentially develop vaccines, treatment, and better tests for COVID-19.

You may be eligible to participate if:

  • You have recently tested positive for COVID-19 by PCR test, AND are either:
    • <21 days from when the date of your first symptoms, OR
    • <21 days from your PCR+ test (if you have no symptoms)
  • You are willing and able to attend 5 in-person study visits
    • Week 0, 1, 3, 10, and 24 (i.e., total of 6 month period).


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.

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~$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.


If interested, please contact us for an initial phone consultation to see if you are eligible.

Sulggi LeeDr. Sulggi Lee
Study Doctor
[email protected]
(415) 735-5127

Sannidhi Sarvadhavabhatla Sannidhi Sarvadhavabhatla 
Study Coordinator
[email protected]
(415) 855-0374

Fiona BeltranFiona Beltran
Study Coordinator
[email protected]
(510) 473-6895

Vivian PaeVivian Pae
Study Coordinator
[email protected]
(415) 480-4483