N95DECON: International Collaboration During COVID-19

N95DECON is a voluntary collective of scientists, engineers, clinicians, and students from universities around the world, as well as other professionals in the private sector. Formed in March 2020, this scientific consortium mobilized to study, synthesize, and disseminate scientific information on respiratory protection during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Pop-up international research collaborations are not common, but the pandemic created an immediate need and united interest to protect public health. At its height, N95DECON involved 120 volunteers with a mission to review scientific literature, coordinate research, and publish articles and fact sheets accessible to clinicians and to the general public.


The Astounding Physics of N95 Masks, a video produced in partnership with 'minutephysics' on YouTube garnered more than 1.9 million views. Additional publications by N95DECON include:


Participation with N95DECON has gradually declined as members returned to work, studies, and labs, but the group remains an excellent model on efficient international collaboration.


Earlier this year, David Rempel, MD, MPH and Nichole Starr, MD, MPH from the University of California San Francisco joined COEH to discuss how the organization formed, goals were determined, communications were structured, and decisions were made. A recording of the presentation and discussion is available through Interdisciplinary & Ethical Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, an online continuing education activity available for CME & BRN credit through December 2021.