The University of East Anglia has been at the forefront of Covid-19 research, which will now be enhanced with the arrival of a Dynex Agility Unit antibody testing machine. The full £91,000 cost was raised by Freemasons in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Hertfordshire and increases testing capacity at the UEA from 600 to 2,000 tests per day.
The machine was unveiled by Professor Bill Fraser, Head of Norwich Medical School, UEA and a Consultant Metabolic Physician at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Representing East Anglian Freemasons was Stephen Allen, Provincial Grand Master of Norfolk.
Covid-19 antibody tests are crucial in the long term fight and recovery from the pandemic, as they could detect if a person has had the virus and since recovered. Prospective studies will identify individuals who have generated antibodies, who will then be followed long term to see if the antibodies confer immunity that would allow them to return to work – which is particularly critical for our NHS workers.
Provincial Grand Master Stephen Allen said, “It became evident from medical specialists early in the pandemic, that routine antibody testing of NHS staff and patients admitted to hospitals with a range of serious illness was necessary to determine resistance to Covid reinfection. Freemasons across the region are proud to have helped to give the UEA antibody testing this massive boost.”
Beyond Covid-19, the increased testing capacity will allow the UEA to expand and accelerate sample results for the benefit of patient care across several diseases and clinical research. For example, bone markers for osteoporosis, cancer markers and asthma. The generosity of East Anglian Freemasons will keep making a difference for years to come.