Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER)


Researchers in the Department of Pediatrics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and across the country are working to learn how COVID affects the body, and why some children and young adults who got COVID are sick many months later. Feeling sick for a long time after a COVID infection is called “Long COVID."

Why are we doing this study?

The reason we are doing this study is to understand why some children who get COVID feel sick for a long time, and other children who get COVID do not feel sick or feel better fast. Taking a long time to recover from COVID is called “Long COVID” or “PASC.” “PASC” stands for Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2.

SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the virus that causes COVID. A virus is a kind of germ that can make people feel sick. SARS-CoV-2 has made millions of people in the United States and around the world sick since December 2019.

In this study, we will be trying to find out:

  • How many children are getting Long COVID.
  • Why some children get Long COVID and others do not.
  • What symptoms children feel when they get Long COVID.
  • How long children feel sick when they get Long COVID.
  • What causes Long COVID to happen in children.

We will put together all the information from study sites (places where the study is happening) across the country to answer these important questions. It is hoped that the information that comes from this study may help us find new tests and treatments for Long COVID.

How can I get more information?

Email us at or call 347-749-6818 (English) or 917-594-9648 (Español). You can also visit the Columbia University RecruitMe site, which lists active clinical trials at the university, and fill out an interest form.

CUIMC Investigators

Site Principal Investigators
Melissa Stockwell, MD, MPH
Erika Berman Rosenzweig, MD
Joshua Milner, MD

Brett Anderson, MD, MBA
Melissa Beauchemin, PhD, CPNP
Elizabeth Berg, MD
Steve Caddle, MD
Marina Catallozzi, MD, MSCE
Wendy Chung, MD
Aliva De, MD
Michael DiLorenzo, MD
Dani Dumitriu, MD, PhD
Kanwal Farooqi, MD
Michael Fremed, MD
Sylvie Goldman, PhD
Usha Krishnan, MD
Christine Lauren, MD
Aimee Layton, PhD
Angela Lignelli-Dipple, MD
Alexis Maddocks, MD
Son McClaren, MD
Manuela Orjuela, MD, ScM
Jonathan Overdevest, MD
Prakash Satwani, MD
Jay Selman, MD
Wendy Silver, MD

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of study is this ?

This study is part of a research project paid for by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) called RECOVER (Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery). The NIH is the part of the United States government that supports medical research.

Many people, including scientists, researchers, patients, caregivers, and people from the community, helped put together the study plan. The study plan is another name for the study protocol. For the RECOVER research project, there are a few different study plans. This includes different plans for adults and for children.

The child study is a kind of study called a multi-site observational study. Multi-site means that the same study plan will be used at many different places across the country, called study sites. The study sites are usually in hospitals, medical schools and doctor’s offices.

The study is an observational study, meaning that information is gathered from the children, young adults, and main caregivers who decide to be in the study. No medicine or treatment for COVID will be given as part of the study. To better understand Long COVID, it is important to be able to compare information about what happens in children who had COVID with information about children who never had COVID. For this reason, this study includes children who have had COVID, and children who have not had COVID.

How long will the study last?

This study will last for up to four years.

Who can be in the study?

For the child study, children and young adults who are younger than 26 years of age will be in the study. This includes babies born to mothers who had COVID during pregnancy, babies who got COVID after being born, toddlers and pre-school age children, school-age children, teenagers, and young adults. The main caregiver of the child can also be in the child study.

This study will include children and young adults who have had COVID and children and young adults who have never had COVID.

 We will use recommendations from the World Health Organization to put people into 2 groups:

  • Had COVID: Someone who had a positive test showing that they had an infection with the virus that causes COVID, or had symptoms that make us think they had COVID.
  • Never had COVID: Someone who never had a positive test for COVID and never had any symptoms that make us think they had COVID.

How many people will be in the study?

In total, about 20,000 children and young adults in the child study. There will also be about 20,000 main caregivers in the study.

How will people be able to join the study?

The first step of a research study is to give each person a chance to learn about the study. This helps each person decide if they want to be in the study. Being in a research study is voluntary. That means that each person can choose if they want to be in this study. For children less than 18 years old, their parent or guardian will decide.

Before a person can decide about being in a study, they need to know important things about the study, like:

  • What the study is about.
  • What each person will have to do in the study.
  • The good things (or benefits) that may come out of being part of the study.
  • The possible risks (or harms) that may come from being part of the study.

The consent form has all the information a young adult or parent/guardian of the child needs to know to decide about being in the study. The researchers at each study site will give each parent/guardian a consent form to read and will answer any questions about the study. If the parent/guardian chooses to have their child be in the study, they will be asked to sign the consent form. If the main caregiver also chooses to be in the study, they will be asked to sign a consent form for this as well.

People who decide to be in the study can choose to leave the study at any time if they change their mind.

What will the people in the study be asked to do?

Many people who decide to be in the study will be asked to visit the study site one or two times a year for study tests. The study plan lists the different study tests that are part of the study. Everyone who decides to be in the study will follow the same study plan, though some children will be asked to do more study tests. All children, young adults, and caregivers will be asked to:

  • Answer questions about their life and their health, or the life and health of their child.
  • Have blood tests, and tests of other things from the body like saliva (spit).
  • Children and young adults may also be asked to:
  • Have check-ups to measure things like height, weight, blood pressure, and heart rate.
  • Have body scans and other kinds of tests to see if COVID affects the heart, lungs, and brain.
  • Measure symptoms and activity level.
  • Have tests that measure how the brain works.
  • Have tests of other things from the body like stool (poop) and urine (pee). These are also called study samples.

If a study test result is found that might affect how a child’s health is managed, the study team will tell the family and their child’s doctor about the test result.

People who want to use the study test results for research will get a copy of the results that does not have any personal information (such as name or birthdate) to protect the privacy of the people in the study.

The information gathered from the surveys and tests, as well as from study samples, will be used to better understand Long COVID and will also be saved to help researchers in the future.

All the study tests will be paid for by the NIH. People who are part of the study will be paid for their time to do surveys and tests.

What if I think my child has long COVID and would like an evaluation?

If you are struggling with lingering symptoms after recovering from COVID-19, Columbia Primary Care would like to partner with you to help. After your evaluation, they can also help refer you to the relevant subspecialty experts, depending on your child’s symptoms.

If you or your child has lingering COVID-19 symptoms that you feel should have resolved by now, make an appointment today with any of our Columbia Primary Care providers. You can make an appointment by calling 844-387-2273.