Years of my cancer research work came to a grinding halt on March 13. I certainly wasn’t alone. Researchers across the country had to shutter their labs when universities suspended research that was considered “non-essential” to follow social distancing and help slow the spread of Covid-19.
Part of “pausing” my research meant stopping all enrollment of human subjects in the research trials we were conducting. Much of my lab’s work is in uterine cervical cancer, which has been dropping in incidence in the U.S. due to appropriate screening and control. Globally, the picture is less bright. More than half a million women are diagnosed annually with cervical cancer and 55% of them die of the disease, mostly in Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia.