National COVID-19 research program is extended
31 March 2021
In March 2020, SciLifeLab launched a national COVID-19 research program together with the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW). Now, the program will be prolonged and extended through a new donation of 50 million SEK from KAW.
“Almost one year have passed since the launch of the national research program on COVID-19. It has been amazing to see the collective effort and new collaborations that was initiated between researchers at our universities in a very short time. Present results are remarkable and applicable in the current crisis, but more research is needed. That is why we are now substantially increasing the funding of the program”, says Peter Wallenberg Jr, chair of Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.
So far, the program has led to the development of technology and capabilities for COVID-19 testing, e.g. new molecular diagnostic methods, high-throughput and high-content serology, analysis of the host immune response, environmental virus profiling, understanding of the molecular pathogenesis and research about how the virus could be inhibited.
Two new calls
In December 2020, a new donation from KAW (50 million SEK), made it possible to launch two new calls with the aim of continuing and extending the SciLifeLab-KAW COVID-19 Research Program. 76 proposals were submitted and evaluated by a panel of national and international experts as well as the SciLifeLab Management Group.
The scientific quality and impact on the pandemic were primary evaluation criteria, which also included emphasis on open science, data handling, and sharing of samples and data, as well as the synergistic value together with the other proposals. The SciLifeLab board decided to fund 23 out of 76 proposals.
In total, KAW has donated 105 million SEK to SciLifeLab for the continuation and extension of the COVID-19 research program. 53 million SEK of these have been used to fund the recently launched program on COVID-19 vaccine effects.
The following project at Uppsala University is new within the program:
Loss of chromosome Y (LOY) in specific subtypes of leukocytes may predispose to severe course of covid-19 in males; consequences of LOY for the immune system, Jan Dumanski, professor of experimental pathology
The following projects at Uppsala University have been granted extended funding:
- Mechanisms of acute and long-term organ dysfunction in critical COVID-19, Michael Hultström, researcher at the Departments of Surgical Sciences and Medical Cell Biology
- Neurological complications of COVID-19, Elham Rostami, associate professor at the Department of Neuroscience.
- MOLRES-COV, Åke Lundkvist, professor at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology
- High throughput SARS-CoV-2 variant surveillance, Lars Feuk, Professor at the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology
- Advancing environmental virus profiling and risk assessment for public health perspective, Anna Székely, researcher at the Department of Ecology and Genetics
- CoronaLeadDiscovery (CoLD), Helena Danielson, professor at the Department of Chemistry - BMC
- Nevermore Covid, DDD platform, Kristian Sandberg, researcher at Department of Medicinal Chemistry
- Identification of druggable coronavirus-human protein-protein interactions, Ylva Ivarsson, professor at Department of Chemistry - BMC