Rutgers’ COVID-19 Response

Rutgers’ COVID-19 Response

Rutgers University, founded in 1766 as one of the original colonial colleges, played the first ever US style gridiron football game against in-state Ivy league rival Princeton University in 1869.

Over its 250 plus year history, Rutgers has grown into an R1 Research university with 70 thousand students & multiple campuses across the state.

It is a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, the Association of American Universities and the Universities Research Association.

It sits in the center of the massive pharmaceutical corridor between that runs the entire length of the state from NYC in the north to Philadelphia in the south.

Rutgers houses 8 professional schools under its Rutgers Biomedical & Health sciences division. These include 2 traditional medical schools, a School of Dental medicine and a School of Pharmacy. In addition, there are degree programs in fields including Pharmaceutical Engineering, Bioengineering, Biotechnology.

It houses over 300 academic research centers 

Over the course of its history, it’s had many scientific break-throughs. Rutgers Professor of Microbiology & Biochemistry Selman Waksman created the first antibiotic, streptomycin, and 15 others, resulting in him winning the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Rutgers scientists were the first to prove a link between smoking and cancer.

Today, Rutgers is engaged in comprehensive academic research initiatives around the health sciences, housed in these 8 research centers

Rutgers was way ahead of the curve in responding to COVI19. It took very early decisive action in creating its’ “COVID19 Center to Fight the Pandemic”. Since that time it has formulated a very comprehensive response to creating scientific & engineering break-throughs.

Perhaps most notably, it developed the first and still only FDA approved “Saliva Test” which will go a long way to protect front line medical workers from infection. The Rutgers lab can scale up to assessing 10 thousand tests per day at peak. 

In line with our other recent COVID 19 focused podcasts with both Georgia Tech and the University of Delaware, on rapidly designing and creating effective, medically rated PPE, Rutgers has broken down silos across multiple colleges and academic centers to produce face shields and “aerosol boxes” to meet the huge demand for PPE, and a BiPAP -based mechanical ventilator to help assist patients with respiratory difficulties due contracting the novel coronavirus. 


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