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Latest Funding from Sinquefield Gift Supports Faculty, Students Engaged in COVID-19 Research

The Saint Louis University Research Institute has awarded more than $765,000 to support several innovations in cross-discipline research related to COVID-19, along with critical, specialized equipment, in its latest round of funding.

Established in 2018 through a historic $50 million gift to the University from Dr. Jeanne and alumnus and trustee Rex Sinquefield, the SLU Research Institute provides funding through the Sinquefield Center for Research Inc., the purpose of which is to support the University in achieving the institute's goals. 

“I refer to this as SLU research – the Jesuit way,” said Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield. “The projects we are funding fit perfectly into SLU's historic service-focused mission, challenging and providing opportunities for the University's diverse community of students, faculty and researchers to make the world a better place.” 

The breakdown of funding includes $300,000 for rapid COVID-19 research, which engages more than 40 faculty and student researchers across 20 departments. Awardees include the SLU Center for Vaccine Development, which houses one of only nine Vaccine Treatment and Evaluation Units leading the effort to find a COVID-19 vaccine; public health research; geospatial research; and emergency preparedness.

An additional $300,000 has been allocated to the SLU School of Medicine Research Growth Fund. The fund will focus on strategic investments that accelerate research growth in the School of Medicine and involve multiple investigators doing innovative research.

The remainder of the grant cycle funding, just under $200,000, is being used to purchase new single-cell RNA sequencing equipment that will be shared among 10 faculty members across five departments and laser-scanning confocal microscopy that will be shared among 13 faculty in three departments for use in addressing infectious diseases and other high-priority research.

“The SLU Research Institute is proud to provide critical funding and support for our researchers as they tackle the greatest challenges of our time, including COVID-19,” said Kenneth Olliff, SLU’s vice president for research and director of the Research Institute. “These outstanding researchers come from a variety of fields and are driven to serve those made most vulnerable during this crisis. Our support for them would not be possible without the enormous generosity of Dr. Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield.” 

Learn more about SLU’s research related to COVID-19 

This funding cycle continues the Sinquefield Center for Research's ongoing support for the SLU Research Institute. The Research Institute leverages the center's contributions to provide critical support for outstanding researchers, advance the University's research growth ambitions and accelerate SLU's rise as a world-class research institution.

The Sinquefield Center for Research, Inc. is an educational institutions and related activities non-profit organization that provides assistance in the form of charitable contributions.

For more information about the SLU Research Institute, visit

Learn more about SLU’s Rapid Response COVID-19 Seed Fund