Thanks to collaboration among researchers from Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital, McMaster University in Hamilton and the University of Toronto the agent responsible for the outbreak of COVID-19 has been isolated. The team was able to culture the virus from two clinical specimens in a Level 3 containment facility. <PICTURED ABOVE – left to right, Dr. Robert Kozak, Dr. Samira Mubareka, Dr. Arinjay Banerjee>“We need key tools to develop solutions to this pandemic. While the immediate response is crucial, longer-term solutions come from essential research into this novel virus,” said Dr. Samira Mubareka, microbiologist and infectious diseases physician at Sunnybrook. “Researchers from these world-class institutions came together in a grassroots way to successfully isolate the virus in just a few short weeks,” said Dr. Rob Kozak, clinical microbiologist at Sunnybrook. “It demonstrates the amazing things that can happen when we collaborate. Now that we have isolated the SARS-CoV-2 virus, we can share this with other researchers and continue this teamwork,” he said.