The start of November saw the launch of a new website dedicated to the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium (UK-CIC), a valuable information resource that will document the consortium’s progress over the coming year. The BSI is a key supporter of UK-CIC, assisting UK immunology to collaborate at a national level to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic. In this article, we highlight some of the key features of the website and provide a look at what’s to come.
UK-CIC has been designed to bring the UK immunology community together to respond to the pandemic, at pace and at scale, to further our understanding of the immunological features of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. The consortium includes 19 centres of excellence around the UK, and is a unique collaboration in UK immunology. With so many researchers working towards a common goal, and the need to provide clear benefits to patients and public health, it is important that information on the work of the consortium is accessible. There are many stakeholders in this project, from members of the academic immunology community to the general public; growing our understanding of COVID-19 is important to everyone, and so having a central website that details the progress of UK-CIC is incredibly important.
The website is divided into sections (much like the BSI’s own website) that should make navigating through it simple and straightforward. About Us contains everything you need to know about UK-CIC and its collaborators. There, you can read a summary of UK-CIC’s goals, which institutions are taking part, and profiles on all of the researchers that it includes. This list will be updated as time goes on. You can also read about our Management Team, Scientific Advisory Board and Public Patient Involvement Panel. These groups are key to ensuring that the most relevant and up-to-date scientific methods are being considered, that the consortium is reaching its goals within the 12 months allotted, and that the impact on and interests of patients and the general public are considered at all stages.
In News, the most ‘exciting’ section of the website, you can read the latest updates on the consortium’s work as it comes in. Check back here often as over the next year it will fill up with announcements on the latest findings. This section also contains the UK-CIC Blog which will feature more in-depth pieces such as close-up looks at individual centres or research projects (if you are a consortium member and would like to be featured in the blog, get in touch!).
The Research section is a key part of the website as it sets out each of UK-CIC’s research themes in more detail, and in more accessible language so that everyone can understand the consortium’s goals and interests. Not only can you read up on each of the five themes and see who is involved, but it will also be updated with a list of publications linked to each, so that you can quickly get down to the fine details.
Tied to that, Publications will host links to each paper and the associated researchers as they appear, along with public summaries where the findings are written in lay terms.
Finally, For the Public is a fantastic resource hub that will host links to useful information about immunology and COVID-19. This collection will expand as we identify other great sites worth highlighting so be sure to check back regularly. We are excited to share the consortium’s research with you as it is published over the year to come. Keeping the whole immunology community engaged with the work done by UK-CIC is a real priority, as it is at its heart a collaborative project that values the input from a variety of perspectives. By doing this, we hope to deliver meaningful public health benefits that increase our ability to control the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gabriela De Sousa
UK-CIC Research Communications Officer