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The Northwestern research community’s response to the call for essential PPE to help fight the COVID-19 outbreak has been remarkable. Thanks to those who have taken quick action on this challenge — and for those still intending to make a donation.

In addition, there is now an urgent need for RNA isolation kits to complete COVID-19 testing. Our colleagues in the Center for Genetic Medicine’s NUSeq Core require these kits to continue their work in helping mitigate the pandemic. The kits are in dangerously low supply across the United States, so we are appealing to Northwestern researchers who can donate these materials to do so.

The following kits would prove most useful to NUSeq:

Qiagen MinElute Virus Spin Kit

QIAGEN with QIAmp DSP Viral RNA Mini Kit

QIAGEN EZ1 Advanced XL with EZ1 DSP Virus Kit

QIAGEN QIAcube with QIAmp DSP Viral RNA Mini Kit

Roche MagNA Pure LC with Total Nucleic Acid Kit

Roche MagNA Pure Compact with Nucleic Acid Isolation Kit

Roche MagNA Pure 96 with DNA and Viral NA Small Volume Kit

NUSeq can also use other RNA isolation kits, such as QIAGEN RNeasy Mini KIts.

Acceptable Viral Storage Media: 

  • UTM
  • M4
  • VCM
  • COPAN’s Universal Transport Medium (COPAN-UTM)
  • BD universal viral transport (BD UVT)
  • HealthLink Universal Transport Medium (UTM)
  • Cepheid Xpert Nasopharyngeal Collection Kit for Viruses

Acceptable Sterile Cotton Swabs:

  • Dry nylon flock Minitip
  • BD #220531


Only sterile Dacron® or rayon swabs should be used.
Do not use calcium alginate swabs as they may contain substances that inhibit PCR testing.
Wooden shaft swabs should not be used

Essential personnel who are already on campus may make donations via Research Safety at the following locations over the next two weeks:

Evanston Campus
Technological Institute
Room NG-7
2145 Sheridan Rd
(847) 491-5581

Chicago Campus
345 East Superior St.
Suite 1522
(312) 503-8300

Please email the Research Safety team with any questions. 

Thank you for your ongoing engagement and efforts during this unprecedented time.