Stanford University COVID-19
Crisis Response

Respond. Innovate. Scale. Empower.

Vision    |    Themes    |    Highlights


The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic poses a humanitarian crisis unprecedented in its scale of complexity, calling for coordination and collaboration between many fields of study. From addressing immediate medical shortages to ensuring an equitable recovery for all people, Stanford is bringing our considerable expertise across disciplines to bear on these urgent challenges. Through Stanford RISE, we will respond with solutions for our community that can be scaled to benefit the world, helping organizations respond to the complex medical, economic, policy and societal needs of this moment and far beyond.

The challenges before us are significant in both scale and complexity. Medical workers are in need of lifesaving new therapies and devices to help patients. Without jobs, people are in need of economic relief as well as food and other services. With the global economy struggling, governments and business leaders are trying to revitalize industries. And decision-makers are looking for reliable ways of tracking and stopping this pandemic, while anticipating new threats before they arise.

Stanford has a history of tackling challenging problems like these. Indeed, the university was founded on the principle of “exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” We have a culture of collaboration that draws researchers together around common problems, and a spirit of innovation that allows for fast translation of discoveries into proven solutions. Our medical researchers have created a robust pathway to new therapies, our engineers routinely turn ideas into breakthrough technologies, and our policy experts have worked with governments worldwide to benefit their citizens.

With Stanford RISE, we are building on our strengths to halt the COVID-19 pandemic and developing a model for how public and private institutions can rise to this historic challenge and others in the future.

News and announcements about Stanford University’s response to COVID-19, for faculty, staff, students and visitors.

A message from the president

At Stanford we seek to provide intellectual leadership at a moment when our world is in crisis, and when we are facing a great deal of uncertainty about our future and about the most effective courses of action. Researchers and scientists from around the world are working together to understand the virus, discover drugs that might prove effective against it, and develop solutions to mitigate its societal and economic effects. It is our goal to help foster this interdisciplinary scholarship within Stanford and across borders.


Marc Tessier-Lavigne
President, Stanford University


This response plan will unite research efforts around core priorities that address the current medical and humanitarian crisis brought by COVID-19. Our results in these areas will also serve as a foundation for responding to future global threats.

Meeting the challenges posed by COVID-19 requires ideas that cut across disciplines and demands collaboration both within Stanford and beyond our campus. With strength across disciplines and a history of turning ideas into innovations and policies, Stanford is well positioned to generate interdisciplinary solutions in these core areas. That might mean doctors working with engineers to develop new treatments or diagnostics, or policy experts working with business leaders and governments to ensure an equitable recovery.

Stanford RISE highlights our multi-disciplinary research across four key themes:

Rapid Discovery

Propelling fundamental and clinical research to discover targeted treatments and cures, nimbly

Human Resilience

Amplifying our individual and collective capacity to respond, adapt, and emerge stronger in the face of crisis

Inclusive Recovery

Striving for an economic recovery that is sustainable, equitable for, and inclusive of all

Post-Pandemic Cooperation

Influencing the new political and social issues that will define our future

Collaboration across Stanford

Education • Research • Translation

  • Art  •
  • Business  •
  • Earth  •
  • Education  •
  • Energy  •
  • Engineering  •
  • Environmental Sciences  •
  • Humanities  •
  • Law  •
  • Medicine  •
  • Natural Sciences  •
  • Policy  •
  • Social Sciences

Current Research Highlights

As soon as COVID-19 began spreading, Stanford researchers pivoted their focus to this crisis. Researchers quickly developed novel ways of testing for COVID-19, began testing drugs that might treat the disease and modeled the effects of social distancing. Other research efforts just getting underway will be generating insights for years to come.

A few research projects are highlighted below. Additional projects will be rotated through in the coming days. 

For Stanford Researchers: 
 View a list of COVID-19 research and projects using your SUNet login.

What COVID-19 has taught us about clinical trials

As health care workers and public health officials combat the pandemic, John Ioannidis, MD, DSc, Stanford professor of epidemiology and population health and of medicine, reflects on the process and importance of clinical trials. He argues that transparency, reproducibility and the open, secure sharing of deidentified patient data is key to moving treatments and vaccines forward, even outside of the context of COVID-19. Read more  

Stanford-led team creates a computer model that can predict how COVID-19 spreads in cities

Jure Leskovec, a Stanford computer scientist, and others have created a computer model that predicts COVID-19 transmission through three key elements that drive the spread of the disease: where people go throughout the day, how long they stay in that location and how many other people go to that same place at the same time. Read more  

On Your Mark, Get Set… Innovate (Stanford Rebuild)

Through a two-month “innovation sprint” known as Stanford Rebuild, which is organized by the Stanford GSB Center for Entrepreneurial Studies in partnership with Stanford GSB Executive Education, more than 5,000 proposals from entrepreneurs worldwide have emerged to help address the challenges of COVID-19. Read more  

Mapping the Good and the Bad of Pandemic-Related Restrictions

As policy makers and health care officials navigate the safest ways to reopen communities, Stanford Graduate School of Business economists Mohammad Akbarpour, Shoshana Vasserman and others have devised a computer model that could help by estimating health and wealth outcomes of different policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.. Read more  

More than half of in-hospital deaths from COVID-19 among Black, Hispanic patients, study finds

According to a new study led by Fatima Rodriguez, MD, assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine at Stanford, more than half of hospitalizations and in-hospital deaths caused by COVID-19 during the first six months of 2020 were among Black and Hispanic patients. The results signal a need to invest in communities to increase healthy lifestyles and access to quality health care. Read more  

A new genetic microlab can detect COVID-19 in minutes

Led by Juan G. Santiago, the Charles Lee Powell Foundation Professor of mechanical engineering, and others, a new effort leverages “lab on a chip” technology and the Nobel-winning genetic editing technique known as CRISPR, to develop an automated device that can identify the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in just a half-hour. Read more