LONDON, ONT. -- Researchers at Western University are playing a key role in a national effort to control the spread of COVID-19.

They are working hand in hand with world partners to examine key areas surrounding the virus.

One area being examined is the ethics underlying rapid research and development of coronavirus treatments and vaccines.

Part of that will include looking at the global response to the Ebola virus, including how the quick development of vaccines played out.

“We have collaborators from Wuhan China, West Africa and other parts of the world,” says Dr. Maxwell Smith, a member of the health sciences faculty at Western.

“Effectively what we are doing together is we want to ensure that the rapid development of vaccines and therapies are done in the most effective and ethical manner.”

Other research teams at Western will look at the development of an emergency response tool kit that heath agencies could use to help with social media strategies and misinformation. Funding for these research projects comes from a number of national health and research organizations.

The grants were announced Friday.