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Join Us in the Fight Against Coronavirus—and Help Those Affected by It


How You Can HelpWhy UC San Diego?How We’re Taking On COVID-19UC San Diego Response to COVID-19Related Resources | Related Videos | COVID-19 Donor Impact Report

In the months since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, we have seen how individual actions can have an immediate positive impact on our ongoing institutional and global efforts. To fortify our efforts and ensure an agile and integrated response, we have established the UC San Diego COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to be able to address the most pressing needs as they develop.


To date, donors across the community and around the world have helped raise over $1.7 million for the UC San Diego COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund and nearly $6 million in gifts and in-kind contributions for our cross-campus COVID-19 efforts. Read the COVID-19 donor impact report here.

But there is still more to do. Gifts to the Emergency Response Fund are expanding clinical testing, accelerating research projects to better understand and track COVID-19, and assisting displaced and impacted members of the UC San Diego community. Join us as we work to protect the health and safety of everyone in San Diego and beyond.

As we look toward restarting on-campus activities and helping San Diegans get back to work, forward-looking philanthropic partners have the opportunity to support two distinct but interrelated efforts: the UC San Diego Return to Learn Program and the San Diego Epidemiology and Research for COVID-19 Health (SEARCH) alliance.

The UC San Diego Return to Learn Program is designed to better position our campus to resume in-person activities this fall by detecting cases of COVID-19 early, mitigating transmission risk and guiding university-wide decisions that aim to keep our campus and community safe.

While Return to Learn focuses on UC San Diego’s campus, the San Diego Epidemiology and Research for COVID-19 Health (SEARCH) alliance is a collaborative research study that aims to help local businesses and employees return to work safely by screening community members for presence of the coronavirus. The SEARCH alliance is co-led by UC San Diego, Scripps Research and Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. Other research partners include the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Biocom.

Give Now

As UC San Diego mobilizes a holistic response to the community and health challenges of the coronavirus, we are more aware than ever before that our students rely on us for far more than their education.

By making a gift to the Student Support and Success Fund, you can help us protect the academic, financial and health needs of all our students — from unexpected travel expenses to basic needs to virtual learning support — and provide compassion and care that reminds them that we are all in this together.


We have an integrated strategy to address COVID-19 involving clinical care, research, and supporting the UC San Diego and greater San Diego communities.

At UC San Diego, our clinical team is on the front line of this disease outbreak and our top clinical infectious disease specialists are working side by side with our scientists. Our immediate priority is to support our clinical team by dramatically expanding clinical testing to rapidly identify infected individuals, including those who have mild or no symptoms, and slow the spread of this disease. We are also launching clinical research projects with the potential to improve the efficiency of our local, national, and global response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, as well as efforts to develop new diagnostics, therapies and ways to track the virus through the environment so we can minimize exposure. Finally, we anticipate that the economic impact of this virus will negatively impact many members of our community and seek to support them in the challenging times that may lie ahead.


Expanding clinical testing

  • Scale the UC San Diego Return to Learn Program to accommodate monthly testing of approximately 65,000 students, faculty and staff; detect cases of COVID-19 early; mitigate transmission risk; and guide university-wide decisions that aim to keep our campus and community safe
  • In collaboration with corporate partners, deploy and validate newly developed clinical tests
  • Develop new COVID-19 tests to provide low-cost, rapid results (<1 hour)
  • Develop home testing kits for COVID-19

Developing new therapies for treatment and vaccine

  • Identify and test new drugs by drawing on our wide array of drug discovery pipelines and clinical testing capabilities to develop new drugs to improve the outcome of infected patients and health care workers
  • Develop monoclonal antibody therapies and vaccines by drawing upon our expertise in immunology

Understanding the COVID-19 virus

  • Via the SEARCH alliance, advance a county-wide research study to better understand the epidemiological spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the community
  • Study the viral replication cycle and the role played by genetic variation in disease progression and transmission from animals to humans by drawing upon our expertise in virology and genetics to better understand this family of dangerous viruses and prepare for the next variant with pandemic potential
  • Understand the role the immune system plays in disease progression and the mechanisms by which preexisting conditions increase the probability of infection and/or severe disease

Improving environmental and community health

  • Study COVID-19 exposure and transmission using leading-edge technologies with high sensitivity to better understand exposure pathways indoors, outdoors, on surfaces, water, air and animals
  • Deploy molecular epidemiological approaches to track the spread of the disease and incorporate new COVID-19 diagnostics into existing cohort studies, as well as launching new studies
  • Advance the SEARCH alliance’s collaborative research study, which aims to help local businesses and employees return to work safely by screening community members for presence of the coronavirus

UC San Diego’s expertise in improving public health and fighting infectious disease are a critical part of our ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and are vital to ongoing efforts to improve the health and well-being of our community and our world.


As the situation with the disease COVID-19 continues to evolve, UC San Diego is committed to the health and safety of our alumni, students, faculty, staff, patients, visitors and friends. For more information about how UC San Diego is responding to the spread of coronavirus, please visit coronavirus.ucsd.edu.


As our world continues to address COVID-19 through social distancing and other measures, it is more important than ever to remain informed and maintain social connections. The following resources from our experts and partners are designed to help all members of our community through this challenging time.

Virtual COVID-19 Grand Rounds at UC San Diego Health (weekly starting July 22)
Hosted by
Christopher Longhurst, MD
Chief Information Officer
Associate Chief Medical Officer
Professor of Medicine, Departments of Biomedical Informatics and Pediatrics

Robert “Chip” Schooley, MD
Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease

Return to Learn Faculty Town Hall (recorded July 10)
Hosted by Elizabeth H. Simmons
Executive Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs

Return to Learn During COVID: the SMARRT Approach (recorded June 19)
Natasha Martin, DPhil, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health

Pandemic Survival: Testing, Treating and Vaccines (recorded June 19)
David “Davey” Smith, MD, MAS
Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health
Co-Director, San Diego Center for AIDS Research (CFAR)

HealthTalks: Coping with COVID-19: Mental Health Strategies (recorded June 16)
Hosted by David Brenner, MD
Vice Chancellor, UC San Diego Health Sciences

Dispatches from a Pandemic: A Special Issue of Triton Perspectives on Life During COVID-19
UC San Diego Alumni


Return to Learn Q&A with Dr. Cheryl Anderson

Return to Learn Q&A with Dr. Natasha Martin