January 2021 update on COVID-19 news and research

January 2021 update on COVID-19 news and research

  • Virus cell illustration

Highlights from across the University's recent news and research relating to the pandemic

Dr Ben Underwood and team members

Tackling COVID-19: Dr Ben Underwood

Dr Ben Underwood’s expertise in delivering clinical trials became highly prized last year, as he worked on a vaccine trial the whole world was watching.

"This research would not have been possible without the entire team behind it, and all the health and care workers across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough who volunteered," he says.

Read about his team's work >

University shield on cloth

Asymptomatic screening and genome sequencing help Cambridge understand spread of SARS-CoV-2 among its students

Since the start of the academic year in October 2020, the University of Cambridge has been offering regular SARS-CoV-2 tests to all students living in its Colleges, even if they show no symptoms.

Read about Cambridge's asymptomatic screening >


Study identifies genetic changes likely to have enabled SARS-CoV-2 to jump from bats to humans

A new study, involving the University of Cambridge and led by the Pirbright Institute, has identified key genetic changes in SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – that may be responsible for the jump from bats to humans, and established which animals have cellular receptors that allow the virus to enter their cells most effectively.

Read more about the findings >

Scientist in PPE

Cambridge COVID-19 Testing Centre passes 2 million tests milestone

The Cambridge COVID-19 Testing Centre, set up in April in response to the urgent need to boost the UK’s testing capabilities, has processed two million tests.

The facility was set up in a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and two major pharmaceutical partners, AstraZeneca and GSK. Soon after its launch, the facility was brought into the Government’s national diagnostic lab network, the largest in British history.

Read more about the centre >

Person writing at a table

Students and staff

See the latest information provided to students and staff on the University's coronavirus webpages. The national lockdown in England, announced on 4 January 2021, means many students are not in Cambridge this month. All teaching and learning for undergraduate and postgraduate taught students has been moved online for the entirety of the Lent term.

Information for students and staff >


Explore more of our COVID-19 research

Read about COVID-19 research from Cambridge >