The VINE 
takes root.

In 2017, at the founding of the private medical device company Rocket Science Health, the principals, led by Kenneth Irving, committed to pursuing social impact priorities, including pandemic preparedness. Rocket Science Health is developing diagnostic and therapeutic delivery systems for brain diseases and disorders, and Kenneth believed that if a future pandemic impacted brain health, we would need to have more targeted diagnostics and pathways to possible solutions that could be rapidly scaled and deployed.

When COVID-19 was just beginning to grow into a global pandemic, Kenneth asked the questions: what if this respiratory virus could enter the central nervous system, or otherwise impact the brain; what would be the long-term consequences; and will we be prepared with answers and solutions? These questions were not unprecedented, as post-pandemic brain health impacts had been documented in previous viral pandemics, going back centuries.

The question led to the creation of a non-profit venture called the Viral Neural Exploration (VINEx) in April of 2020. The growth of VINEx has mirrored a growing recognition that the devastating consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic would not end for everyone after vaccination. The phenomenon of “Long COVID” was first raised by researchers and clinicians, and then by people with lived experience who were beginning to organize on social media, and finally by public health officials and governments.

Rocket Health Science | Vinex

While the current COVID-19 crisis creates urgency, this is a long-term effort that grows out of a commitment Rocket Science Health made in 2017 to pursue Pandemic Preparedness as one of four non-commercial, social impact projects.

Kenneth C. Irving (“Irv”), co-founder of Rocket Science Health