Projects and Publications COVID-19 Projects at the University of Bern

COVID-19 Research

Various groups at the University of Bern and Inselspital (Bern University Hospital) are conducting research on COVID-19. On this page, you will find a list of the projects.

A selection of COVID-19 projects

(Status 01.11.2022)

DIGIPREDICT

Project title: Edge AI-deployed digital twins for predicting disease progression and need for early intervention in infectious and cardiovascular diseases beyond COVID-19
Aims: To develop an AI-based system to predict whether COVID-19 patients will develop severe cardiovascular complications and detect the likely onset of inflammatory disease.
PI: Wolf Hautz
Duration: 1 Januar 2021 – 31 December 2024
Program: Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Proactive
Project type: Research & Innovation Action (several partners)
Details: Website

VACCELERATE

Project title: European Corona Vaccine Trial Accelerator Platform
Aims: To develop a platform for trial design and conduct and accelerate phase 2 & 3 COVID-19 vaccine trials.
PI: Sven Trelle
Duration: 28 January 2021 – 27 January 2024
Program: Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing (Societal Challenge 1)
Project type: Research & Innovation Action (several partners)
Details: Website

EpiPose

Project title: Epidemic intelligence to minimize 2019-nCoV’s public health, economic and social impact in Europe
Aims: EpiPose aims to provide answers about the epidemiological characteristics of COVID-19, the social dynamics of the outbreak, and the public health preparedness and response, as well as to assess its economic impact.
PI: Christian Althaus, Nicola Low
Duration: 13 March 2020 – 12 April 2023
Program: Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing (Societal Challenge 1)
Project type: Research & Innovation Action (several partners)
Details: Website

Tracking the COVID-19 epidemic in Switzerland: phylogenetics and epidemiological modeling

Aims: To integrate genomic epidemiology and epidemiological modeling in order to provide comprehensive inferences and projections for the COVID-19 epidemic in real-time.
Applicants: Christian Althaus
Duration: 1 June 2020 – 31 December 2022
Funding instrument: Special Call on Coronaviruses
Details: SNF webpage

Unravelling consequences of SARS-CoV-2 mediated inflammatory immune responses in heart and vasculature

Aims: To study if disease progression is dependent on the vascular cell type infected and provide insight into downstream signaling events.
Applicants: Yvonne Döring, Robert Rieben, Nadia Mercader, Britta Engelhardt
Duration: 1 November 2020 – 30 June 2023
Funding instrument: NRP 78 Covid-19
Details: SNF webpage

New insights into the COVID-19 pandemic: Genetic polymorphisms, role of SLC6 amino acid transporters, renal aspects and therapeutic perspectives

Aims: To clarify the role of genetics in conferring COVID-19 severity and to screen for blockers of viral susceptibility for the development of novel treatment strategies
Applicants: Matthias Hediger, Bruno Vogt
Duration: 1 November 2020 – 31 October 2022
Funding instrument: NRP 78 Covid-19
Details: SNF webpage

Neutralizing multivalent antibodies against coronaviruses

Aims: To develop neutralizing multivalent single-chain antibodies (nmAb) to efficiently block viral cell-entry.
Applicants: Philippe Plattet, Dimitrios Fotiadis
Duration: 1 September 2020 – 31 August 2022
Funding instrument: NRP 78 Covid-19
Details: SNF webpage

AI-multi-omics-based prognostic stratification of COVID-19 patients in acute and chronic state

Aims: To investigate whether an ensemble of multi-omic, patient-specific information can be used to predict patient outcome and ultimately optimize patient care.
Applicants: Alexander Pöllinger, Mauricio Reyes
Duration: 1 November 2020 – 30 April 2023
Funding instrument: NRP 78 Covid-19
Details: SNF webpage

A continuously updated meta-ecological study of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health, alcohol/substance abuse and violence in the general population

Aims: To investigate mental health problems associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown.
Applicants: Georgia Salanti
Duration: 1 October 2020 – 30 September 2022
Funding instrument: NRP 78 Covid-19
Details: SNF webpage

Devils dance: complement, NETs and thrombosis in COVID-19

Aims: To identify the pathways involved in complement and neutrophil activation that lead to the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome and microvascular complications in COVID-19.
Applicants: Sacha Zeerleder
Duration: 1 October 2020 – 30 September 2022
Funding instrument: NRP 78 Covid-19
Details: SNF webpage

(listed alphabetically by funder)

ACE2, TMPRSS2 and SLC6A15 variants as candidates of shaping the COVID-19 severity

Aims: To investigate the roles of genetic variations of specific human host genes in the predisposition to COVID-19 infection and disease severity.
PIs: Matthias Hediger, Bruno Vogt
Funder: Bern Center for Precision Medicine
Details: Website

How to protect healthcare workforce during pandemics: Determining the consequences of testing asymptomatic co-workers after the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak

Aims: To determine the effect of continuous testing of asymptomatic caregivers on the protection of the healthcare workforce and patients in each stage of a pandemic.
PIs: Guido Beldi, Daniel Sánchez-Taltavull
Funder: Bern Center for Precision Medicine
Details: Website

Identification of Patient-specific Master Regulator Proteins Associated with SARS-CoV-2-Infection and Pulmonary Fibrosis in Lung-on-Chip

Aims: To characterize molecular pathways of SARS-CoV-2 infection and phenotypic changes in lung alveolar epithelial cells in order to identify alterations that trigger fibrosis.
PI: Thomas Geiser
Funder: Bern Center for Precision Medicine
Details: Website

Impact of aging on pulmonary long-term effects after COVID-19

Aims: A Swiss national prospective observational study to evaluate pulmonary long-term effects of COVID-19.
PI: Manuela Funke-Chambour
Funder: Bern Center for Precision Medicine
Details: Website

Investigation of the local and systemic immune system regulation in COVID-19

Aims: To analyze cells in the lung lavage of COVID-19 patients to determine how and which immune cells are activated during COVID-19.
PI: Philippe Krebs
Funder: Bern Center for Precision Medicine
Details: Website

Investigation of the performance of Gas6 plasma level as predictor of disease severity, thromboembolism occurrence and mortality in patients with COVID-19

Aims: To assess the performance of Gas6 as predictor of disease severity, thromboembolism occurrence and mortality in patients with COVID-19.
Uni Bern/Inselspital PI: Anne Angelillo-Scherrer
Funder: Bern Center for Precision Medicine
Details: Website

The European Academy of Neurology COVID-19 registry (ENERGY)

Aims: To collect epidemiological data on neurological manifestations in patients with COVID-19 infection.
Uni Bern PI: Claudio Bassetti, Simon Jung (EAN Neuro-COVID Task Force)
Funder: European Academy of Neurology
Details: Website

CONSIGN - COVID-19 infection and medicines In pregnancy

Aims: To provide data on the impact of COVID-19 in pregnancy to guide decision-making about vaccine indications, vaccination policies, and treatment options for COVID-19 disease and associated complications.
Uni Bern PI: Alice Panchaud
Funder: European Medicines Agency (University Medical Center Utrecht)

Corona-Memory.ch

Aims: To collect, study and make available in the long term first-hand narratives on how civil society is experiencing or has experienced this difficult moment.
Uni Bern PI: Tobias Hodel
Duration: 1 May 2020 – 31 December 2020
Funder: Fondation Petram; Migros Kulturprozent
Details: Website

CORON-ACT

Aims: The mulitcenter clinical trial aims to test the efficacy and safety of tocilizumab in the treatment of progressing COVID-19.
Inselspital PI: Peter M. Villiger
Uni Bern contact: Stephan Reichenbach
Duration: April 2020 – October 2020
Funder: Inselspital
Details: Website

DARVID - Distress, Anxiety and Resilience among Health Care Professionals during the COVID-19-Pandemic

Aims: To investigate how personal resilience and sense of coherence during the COVID-19 pandemic affects the mental health of healthcare professionals.
Bern Contact: Sandra Abegglen
Duration: 15 March 2020 – 1 January 2021
Funder: Inselspital
Details: Website

ROCO – Online Selbsthilfe für psychische Belastung durch COVID-19

Aims: To investigate the effectiveness of a 3-week online self-help program for people who feel psychologically stressed due to the situation surrounding COVID-19.
Uni Bern PIs: Thomas Berger, Hansjörg Znoj
Funder: Own funds
Details: Website

EUCLID

Aims: To study the perception and behavior of the population in the areas of subjective health, perception of risks, protection motivation and behaviour, and expected future developments of the current coronavirus outbreak.
Uni Bern PI: Jennifer Inauen
Funder: Various
Details: Website

Public health emergency SOLIDARITY trial of treatments for COVID-19 infection in hospitalized patients

Aims: The mulitcenter clinical trial aims to test antiviral drugs in a controlled manner that are currently used to treat COVID-19.
Inselspital PIs: Hansjakob Furrer, Andri Rauch
Duration: March 2020 – March 2021
Funder: World Health Organization; Swiss National Science Foundation
Details: Website

International databases

There are numerous databases with information on international research into COVID-19 and available data. Below is a small selection.