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COVID-19 Research Update 

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread and the number of infected people and deaths increase by the day, scientists at The Wistar Institute Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center are working around the clock to curb the coronavirus outbreak. 

The Wistar team and collaborators in academia and biotech are creating a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and other innovative diagnostic and therapeutic solutions. 

Big COVID-19 Topics on the Minds of Our Scientists

Wistar scientists address some of your questions as it pertains to how the Institute has responded to the coronavirus pandemic.

Support the Wistar Coronavirus Discovery Fund

We appreciate your interest and support of our research, your gift will aid in moving our research forward. 

Learn about our areas of research to combat the coronavirus and ways you can support through the Coronavirus Discovery Fund.

Donate Now


Dear Wistar Friends:

I hope this message finds you well in this unprecedented and challenging moment in history. As I shared with the Institute, our first priority has been to ensure the integrity of our community and to uphold our mission to advance human health as we face a global pandemic crisis. I am proud that Wistar is leading the charge and making progress to develop a vaccine against coronavirus as our staff and dedicated scientists work safely, albeit tirelessly, along with the scientific community, to provide the answers that the public desperately needs. Our mission to protect global health through fundamental research advancements is more relevant than ever, and we appreciate your support that allows us to do so.

Now more than ever, I am proud to be a scientist and to be leading a distinguished and historic independent research Institute where science can provide the answers and needed therapeutics to protect humanity.

We are grateful to have you all by our sides.

Please stay safe, 

Dario C. Altieri, M.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Director, The Wistar Institute Cancer Center
Robert and Penny Fox Distinguished Professor


To protect the Wistar community during the current pandemic, The Wistar Institute has canceled or postponed all public events and business travel.

Our scientists and core facilities continue to advance critical research while limiting on-site work and following practices for infection prevention and social distancing when working in the lab.

Non-essential personnel are working remotely.

Wistar continues to monitor the evolving situation following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

  • Wash hands with soap for at least 20 seconds.
  • Regularly disinfect common use surfaces.
  • Cough or sneeze into sleeve or tissue, then discard tissue into trash can.
  • Practice social distancing. 
  • If you feel sick, please stay home. See CDC considerations and evaluations for COVID-19


Scientists Use Knowledge From Traditional Medicine to Discover Drugs to Fight the Pandemic

Dr. Ian Tietjen came to Wistar in 2019 as a research assistant professor in the laboratory of Dr. Luis Montaner. He brings a fascinating approach to HIV and infectious disease research that explores the traditional medicine knowledge of Indigenous peoples and healers around the world in treating infection with natural substances.