Helping researchers discover new concepts about COVID-19

25 Sep, 2020

The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, TD announced on Thursday that Dr Muhammad Atif Qureshi, a Lecturer in the College of Business at TU Dublin and researcher with the SFI ADAPT Centre had received funding for a COVID-19 project.

Working with colleagues, Dr Nicole Baker and Dr Bruno Ohana in the ADAPT SFI Research Centre, he will discover new concepts about COVID-19 for researchers to explore. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we are learning more and more about the virus that causes it – how it spreads, the kinds of symptoms it causes and how to treat it. Research focus on the virus has led to a wealth of findings – so much so that it can be challenging for researchers to navigate their way through the results.

The team will build a system to help researchers in the life sciences and healthcare to explore new information and concepts about COVID-19. The system will use computer programmes to examine published studies and identify ideas that are relevant to COVID-19, which researchers can explore via an online visual interface.

Dr Muhammad Atif Qureshi, Lecturer at the Technological University Dublin and a researcher with ADAPT, says, “The human-centric search system we are developing is an attempt analogous to a telescope to rapidly discover concepts related to COVID-19 and speed up the process of finding the needle in the haystack of the knowledge pool.”

Researchers at ADAPT will develop an online system to automatically detect concepts relating to COVID-19 in published studies and data and enable users to explore those concepts easily. By making new information about COVID-19 concepts more discoverable, the research will facilitate new insights about the pandemic and how to tackle it.