How one of our own helped with COVID testing


Steinbach pictured in her mask.

Shelby Moquin, Editor

To get a test or to not get a test? Do I just have a cold or could it be something more? Before the routinely thousands of cases were reported daily for Iowa, back when it all began in early 2020, Emily Steinbach, a medical student at the UOI, played an important part in how we test for COVID today. 

“In April, I was part of the original validation group for COVID-19 testing at the University of Iowa State Hygienic Laboratory,” Steinbach said. ” I was one of the two processing leads which made the protocols for how we would receive patient samples and prepare the samples for testing.”

Months later, Steinbach has watched her work unfold, and how much COVID has not only impacted her work and research, but life as a student at the University as well. 

“Like many students, UICCOM has gone mostly online and research at the UIHC has been reduced primarily to high-priority research,” commented Steinbach. “Luckily, radiation oncology continues to recruit and treat patients is part of our many clinical trials.”

Steinbach has faith in science and urges that Iowans wear their mask in public places, sanitize frequently, stay socially distanced, and are honest about contacting tracing. She does this not only for herself and to ease her fears but the safety of others as well. 

“I always thought my biggest lessons would be from my classes; however, I think the most valuable lesson I have learned from the COVID pandemic,” Steinbach said, “is to be a team player and stand together with the science and medical community.