The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project

Apr 1, 2020 | Clinical Trials, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Plasma

The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of physicians and scientists from 34 institutions and 17 states have self-organized into a group known as National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project. Investigating the use of convalescent plasma, as what was a group of biomedical researchers that assembled several years ago to refocus studies of health and disease more directly on public health issues. More than 100 researchers and 40 large hospitals in 20 states are involved in the effort to utilize survivor plasma to clinical trials.

A number of universities, such as University of Wisconsin-Madison, have recently joined the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project. The group includes big name brand collaborative partners such as Amazon, American Red Cross, and Federal Express.

How did it Start?

Johns Hopkins University professor Arturo Casadevall and Liise-anne Pirofski with Albert Einstein College of Medicine published a paper on March 13, 2020 titled “The convalescent sera option for containing COVID-19” in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The subject matter immediately generated a response from a group of colleagues connected through various social and professional networks. They instantly recognized the promise and importance of examining whether this mode of treatment might work in COVID-19 and started other discussions with colleagues in virology, transfusion medicine, epidemiology, clinical trials and several other disciplines to progress the ideas forward—the excitement was palpable.

A Grassroots Effort

Hence, a form of grass roots investigational network was forming in response to a dangerous pandemic. Now a national organization, this network is working to deploy the use of plasma in this emergency. A real mission, meaning and purpose emerged as the potential to save lives occurs now—unlike vaccines or newly developed drug, which can take years, the plasma could in principal be made available imminently.

The First Big Meeting

A major conference call occurred on March 21, organized by Michael Joyner of the Mayo Clinic with over 100 participants. Their website, a joint production of Amazon Web Services and Michigan State University Information Technology, went live on March 24th, the group reports from their website.

‘Everybody is on the Same Page’

The network now shifts into project gear where they will fast-track clinical trials at multiple research center participants in a process anticipated to take several weeks. Michael J Joyner from Mayo Clinic reports that everyone in the network will “take this nationwide sooner rather than later.” Dr. Joyner exclaimed “Everybody is on the same page.” 

Interested in connecting with this exciting, pragmatic and hands-on national network of investigators seeking to push back COVID-19? See the leadership.

The Leadership Group

·       Arturo Casadevall, MD, PhD (Chair), Johns Hopkins University

·       Benjamin Chen, MD,Mount Sinai School of Medicine

·       Michael J Joyner, MD, Mayo Clinic School of Medicine

·       Jeffrey P Henderson, MD, PhD, Washington University School of Medicine

·       Nigel Paneth, MD, MPH, Michigan State University

·       Liise-anne Pirofski, MD, PhD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

·       Shmuel Shoham, MD, Johns Hopkins University


  1. Oron Maher

    Hi All,
    We noticed that you are working on the National COVID -19 Convalescent Plasma Project. Some friends and I located in Los Angeles are interested in helping. We have organized a task force of volunteers ready to work on this project. We know people willing to donate and we would like to help with registering donors and making matches. Can you use our help? You can call or text me at 415-378-5464 or email me [email protected]. Please guide is in what we can do.

    Thank you,
    Oron Maher

  2. Christopher Peck

    Yes I the hospital for a month last December with Pneumonia and even went (Septic with a temp. ) just a few days before my release !I have the paper work on my stay at St. Joseph’s in Burbank CA. Over 300 pages
    If theres any chance I can help with.your study on Plasma ? Let me know
    Christopher Peck – [email protected]

  3. Dorothy (Dot) Norris

    Hello – I am currently living on the Big Island of Hawaii and I think I may have come in contact with the COVID-19 last February. I had a temperature of 100 degrees F, headache, and congestion (not in the lungs). These are mild symptoms and my doctor said I probably had a cold, but that was before tests were available. The symptoms lasted only about a week. If I can be of help, please let me know how.

  4. Janet Meredith Grimm

    I believe I contracted the Coronavirus from contact with my daughter and grandson and PS3 and started mild symptoms March 16. I experienced a temperature for several evenings, a lingering dry cough that I was able to suppress, a heavy feeling in my chest.
    If a test for antibodies becomes available I will be glad to donate plasma.
    I am a healthy 67 year old woman on no medication.
    I believe my lifetime of preschool teaching cause me to have a great immune system.

    • Janet Meredith Grimm


  5. Pankaj Khemka, M.D.

    I am an Infectious Diseases physician in Orange County, California. I would like to participate as an investigator in SARS CoV2 convalescent plasma transfusion clinical trial, as an investigator in my local hospitals.

  6. Laura MacLennan

    I want to help. I live just south of Wisconsin border so I can go to UW Madison. I’m 95% sure I had Covid, but was not allowed to be tested. Tested negative for flu and strep. Symptoms started March 2 fully recovered around March 25 or so. Symptoms: started with scratchy throat then fevers as high as 102, hard cough, sweats, chills even if not breaking a fever, runny nose & congestion later, and loss of taste (my chicken noodle soup & applesauce started tasting bad about the third day). Thought I was getting better then would spike a fever at night. I am a 58 year old woman.

  7. Laura MacLennan

    I also had a pounding headache. Sorry, forgot that one and I couldn’t edit my previous comment. thx

  8. Angela J Smith

    I saw my doctor for mild symptoms of COVID-19 (onset 3/18/20). I was advised that it is possible that I have COVID and directed to isolate at home. I was cleared to return to normal social distancing measures from isolation and return to work effective 4/4/20. I did not qualify for a test based on the algorithm and number of available tests in our area, so I do not know that what I had was COVID. But my collection of symptoms is consistent. I would be happy to donate plasma. I live 60 miles west of Cleveland, Ohio. If I can be of service, please contact me.

    • TrialSite

      Dear Angela, thank you for visiting TrialSite News. Also we appreciate your commitment to give back. This spirit is needed during this pandemic. We have connected a number of professionals and patients now with the National Convalescent Plasma Initiative. Dr. Joyner (Mayo Clinic) who is one of the lead investigators suggested all those that are interested visit the following website: for more information.
      Thanks again and we are glad you are healing now.
      Best Regards,

  9. Laura MacLennan

    It was frustrating before when I wasn’t allowed to be tested, and according to the link above I probably won’t be accepted to donate plasma, because I wasn’t tested. I am once again frustrated, I would like to help.

    • TrialSite

      Dear Laura,
      We are sorry–it is a challenging time. The testing challenge is one that requires a more comprehensive approach from state to state across the country. We do observe a ramping up of testing capacity but unfortunately not fast enough. It is indeed a frustrating point in time. We believe it will get better but there are some imminent challenges to overcome.
      Thank you for visiting TrialSite News and we will do our best to keep you updated.

  10. Crystal Block

    I am in search for someone who has tested positive for and recovered from COVID-19, and willing to donate plasma. My friend’s mom is fighting for her life in Houston TX.

    Please reach out at 281-909-7392 or 713-632-4449 or 919-816-5881.

    Thank you!

    • TrialSite

      Dear Crystal,

      We are sorry to hear about your friend’s mom–it is a very difficult time given what is going on in the world with this pandemic. We unfortunately don’t have a service to search for this request but we do recommend you look into local research in the Houston area. For example we know from the pres that Baylor and Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center are going to be offering plasma to help with these kinds of situations. We include a link and hope you can connect with these local providers.

      Best Regards,

  11. Mary Wray

    I was in Paris in late December. Had all the symptoms and new it was something serious. I am fully recovered, live in Sacramento and have O negative blood. Happy to help. I have been told that I can’t participate because I do not have a positive test. However, perhaps I could be tested for antibodies.

    • TrialSite

      Dear Mary,
      We are happy to hear from you and glad that you are OK. The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project website is here. See the link for the donation form. See if they will work with you. Again this group has received funding from the U.S. government and is led by Johns Hopkins University. If they cannot help reach back in touch with us and we will look into the TrialSite Network and try to help you get something positive going in Sacramento.
      We are glad again that you are recovering.

      Best Regards,

    • TrialSite

      Dear Ted,

      We really appreciate you sending this and we will review carefully. It means a lot that you sent content our way.
      We wish you the best and glad you visit the TrialSite News site.

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