Stanford scholars and researchers lend their expertise to tackling the COVID-19 crisis
More than 5 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and the numbers keep steadily rising.
This page is updated regularly to present ongoing work and insights. It was last updated May 21.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be an unprecedented crisis, even as infections and deaths begin to ebb in parts of the world. In the United States, virtually all aspects of people’s lives have changed through shelter-in-place and social distancing orders, massive layoffs, stock market uncertainty and the sudden need to balance work and family responsibilities in new ways – all while many thousands continue to fall ill and, in some cases, to die.
Stanford scholars have been involved in addressing the immediate – and continuing – medical challenges created by the pandemic. They have aggressively pivoted their research to aid in the effort to understand the virus and to create COVID-19 tests, vaccines, protocols and treatments.
Beyond addressing the scientific, technical and medical challenges of the pandemic, Stanford scholars have also been considering the wider societal, economic and legal implications in recognition that life as we know it is likely forever changed.
As is its legacy, Stanford is applying its interdisciplinary expertise in the hopes of ensuring an equitable recovery for all people and offering solutions that can be scaled to benefit the world.
Below is a sampling of the ongoing work and perspectives.
Staying healthy and productive
How will COVID-19 change the way we educate our young and provide for family and work balance in the future? The pandemic has turned our world inside out, robbing us of our interpersonal relationships and making online education and technological connections more important than ever. Stanford scholars have been applying their expertise to help with the current work and health challenges the pandemic poses, as well as anticipating what a post-pandemic world will look like.
Applying scientific and medical expertise
Stanford researchers have quickly refocused their work to address the COVID-19 crisis. Their innovations have been widely adopted, from the development of novel ways of testing for COVID-19 to the modeling of the effects of social distancing. The challenges before society are significant in their complexity, requiring aggressive cooperation across disciplines. Stanford scientists, whose work has always been characterized by interdisciplinary cooperation, have responded. In areas ranging from engineering to medicine, they are focused on creating breakthrough technologies and new treatments and diagnostic tools that will benefit people worldwide.
An effort to design and build new, simplified ventilators for patients with severe cases of COVID-19 is being led by researchers at Stanford.
Public policy, law and the economy
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented job loss, aggressive governmental action and reconsiderations to how to best meet the needs of citizens. The global economy is struggling, while governments and businesses are trying to innovate in the midst of crisis. Stanford scholars have been offering their recommendations and perspectives to how we can best cope from a political, legal and economic perspective in a way the results in an equitable future for all.
Economist Nicholas Bloom, who has spent years tracking “uncertainty shocks,” says this downturn be worse than what followed the financial crisis of 2008 and it could rival the Great Depression.