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Source: Charite – Universitatsmedizin Berlin Network of University Medicine with five projects under the lead or co-management of the Charité Initiated and coordinated by the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the National Research Network of University Medicine on Covid-19 bundles existing forces. The goal: to make knowledge about the novel disease available in the shortest possible time. The structures for nationwide coordinated Covid 19 research have now been created. 13 extensive joint projects with lines at the various locations of the university medicine were designed. The Charité is leading two of the major projects, and is co-leading in three of them. In addition, Charité researchers make a significant contribution to seven other networks. A total of around 150 million euros from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is available to the research network. Preventing infections, optimal patient care, receiving health care – the Covid 19 pandemic requires completely new strategies for action within a short period of time. In order to bundle and strengthen research activities, scientists have come together at 36 university medicine locations. The National Research Network of University Medicine on Covid-19, in short: Network University Medicine (NUM), is centrally coordinated at the Charité. Co-initiator of the project and chairman of the Charité board, Prof. Dr. Heyo K. Kroemer: “Under this roof, with the participation of almost all German university hospitals and other networks, researchers are now working across locations on solutions for the best possible care for patients, on questions of health services research, fighting pandemics and evidence-based procedures. The main idea is new: cooperation with as many actors as possible instead of competition between individuals, because we now need knowledge that is quickly accessible. ”The University Medicine Network promotes systematic, extensive exchange between the cooperation partners. Out of more than 280 sketches of ideas submitted, 13 major projects have been formed in close cooperation with the National Task Force and coordinated by the Charité. The implementation concepts take into account research priorities at the respective locations and bundle outstanding competencies nationwide. The networks designed in this way are under the management of one or more locations. The Charité is responsible for five of the projects or in cooperation with other university hospitals. Researchers from the Berlin University Medicine are also involved in seven projects, including the creation of an emergency admission register, the development of test strategies taking into account the pandemic, and the advancement of specific app developments. 19 (FoDaPla) For Covid-19 research, an extensive, standardized database is required as a basis for the various research questions. The aim of the project is therefore to build a nationwide uniform, data protection compliant infrastructure for the storage of Covid-19 research data sets. Among other things, a central data platform, data acquisition instruments, use and access procedures and a trust agency are planned. Coordinating project manager Prof. Dr. Roland Eils, founding director of the Center for Digital Health at the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) and the Charité: “We want to create an infrastructure that is capable of handling complex Covid-19 research data sets, including clinical data, data from biomaterials and image data , multi-center, patient-related and pseudonymised. These will be centrally available for research and link university clinics with one another. ”The infrastructure for the research data platform is provided by the German Center for Cardiovascular Research and the Medical Informatics Initiative. The platform should be expandable and is geared towards sustainable use also for future pandemics. Overall coordination: Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Collaboration in the project: Hannover Medical School, Greifwald University Medical Center, Cologne University Medical Center, Schleswig-Holstein University Medical Center, Göttingen University Medical Center, Charité – University Medical Center Berlin, University Medical Center Erlangen, University Medical Center Dresden, University Medical Center Mannheim, University Medical Center Leipzig, University Medical Center Aachen, University Medical Center Ulm, University Medical Center Frankfurt, University Medical Center Bonn , Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Technical University of Munich, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen. Non-university partners: German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK), German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), TMF eV, Society for Scientific Data Processing Göttingen GmbH (GWDG), Heilbronn University, National Pandemic Cohort Network (NAPKON) The comprehensive project has set out to create a network for the collection of high quality clinical data, including data on biosamples and imaging. It is intended to secure the basis of scientific studies and is closely linked to the structure of the national research data platform Covid-19, which among other things serves to merge the data generated from NAPKON. Prof. Dr. Martin Witzenrath, co-coordinator of the association and deputy clinic director of the medical clinic with a focus on infectiology and pulmonology at the Charité: “We enable Covid-19 research to have centrally coordinated, fast and efficient access to a wide range of high-quality data and biomaterials. This enables valid research work on a broad, up-to-date database. For example, long-term consequences of a Covid-19 disease can be systematically analyzed using suitable cohorts, taking into account all health sectors. “The network will consist of basic infrastructures and cohort platforms, which in addition to German university hospitals include other actors such as non-university hospitals, resident doctors and other care facilities Project management: Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Universitätsklinikum Frankfurt, Universitätsklinikum Hannover, Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Universitätsklinikum Würzburg. Participation in the project: Carl Gustav Carus University Hospital Dresden, Cologne University Hospital. Furthermore, all German university hospitals are called upon to join NAPKON. Non-university partners: Non-university hospitals, resident doctors and other care facilities. Determination and use of SARS-CoV-2 immunity (COVIM) The development of protective immunity can prevent infections and have a decisive influence on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Therefore, the identification of characteristics for immunity and the safe assessment of immunity at both the individual and the population level is of central importance. The COVIM consortium is therefore dealing with the following questions: Who is immunologically protected from SARS-CoV-2 infection and for how long? And how can immunological protection be transferred from a few immune people to many non-immune people? Co-project leader Prof. Dr. Leif Erik Sander, Medical Clinic with a focus on Infectiology and Pneumology at the Charité: “In order to find answers, we bundle immunological, virological, bioinformatic, epidemiological and clinical-infectious expertise from all over Germany. We will carry out analyzes of collective and individual immunity in order to obtain as complete a picture as possible of anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunity in the German population. “With an interdisciplinary ‘ImmunoHub’, all data collected in COVIM are to be integrated and computer-aided Learning to be evaluated. In cooperation with the NAPKON project, the research project should make a significant contribution to solutions to protect the population from Covid-19. Project management: Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, University Hospital Cologne. Collaboration in the project: University Medical Center Düsseldorf, University Medical Center Erlangen, University Medical Center Freiburg, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Technical University Munich, Medical University Hannover, University Medical Center Cologne, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, University Medical Center Frankfurt, University Medical Center Gießen and Marburg. Organ-specific stratification for Covid-19 (Organo-Strat) Organo-Strat stands for organ stratification, because Covid-19 is not only a respiratory disease – other organ systems such as the heart, brain, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract or the vascular system can also be affected. The nature and extent of this organ involvement are so far only incompletely understood and have a direct influence on the individual clinical prognosis as well as on therapeutic options. What is currently missing is meaningful, clinically relevant information on disease development, disease progression and organ-specific disease involvement. There is also a lack of reliable models for testing possible active ingredients in the pre-clinical phase. Coordinating project manager Prof. Dr. Andreas C. Hocke, Medical Clinic with a focus on Infectiology and Pneumology at the Charité: “Our goal is therefore to establish a network of university hospitals and university and non-university partners to set standards for human organ models and their targeted infection as well as comparative analyzes on native tissue and autopsy samples build up. With the help of structured quality and data management, an agreed process chain is established that directly serves to understand the disease of Covid-19. “Organo-Strat will use COVID-19 to create a modular and flexible network structure that will in future be in the sense of a pandemic preparedness, can provide information on organ-specific involvement and carry out rapid drug analysis. Project management: Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Collaboration in the project: Nine initial locations of the University Clinics Aachen, Berlin, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Jena, Gießen / Marburg, Münster, Tübingen and Würzburg. (Except) university partners: Free University of Berlin, Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI), Julius Maximilians University of Würzburg, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association, Robert Koch Institute, Radiological Cooperative Covid-19 pandemic network (RACOON) Early on in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, it became apparent that radiology plays a key role in the management of this novel disease. CT imaging of the lungs was and is one of the cornerstones of diagnostics and, above all, of assessing the course of the disease. The analysis of the radiological findings on Covid-19 is therefore one of the key goals in coping with pandemics. However, a hurdle for the systematic and quantitative evaluation of the radiological data is the standardized recording of the imaging findings. In particular, the classic free text findings are not accessible to machine evaluation in large numbers. For several years, the so-called structured diagnosis procedure has therefore been established in radiology. Every finding and measured value is linked to meta information at any time, which clearly and reproducibly defines how a finding was made, quantified or derived from other data. As the first project of this magnitude, the RACOON network will now set up a Germany-wide infrastructure for the standardized collection of radiological data from Covid-19 cases and use it to combat pandemics. Co-project leader Prof. Dr. Bernd Hamm, Director of the Clinic for Radiology at the Charité: “With RACOON, we can make the collected findings and analyzes of suspicious cases of pneumonia cases of Covid-19 usable for research. For the first time, highly structured data on this scale will be available that can provide a valuable basis for making decisions on epidemiological studies, assessments of the situation and early warning mechanisms. ”In addition, the data should be available for epidemiological early warning systems or medical assistance systems based on artificial intelligence, among other things. Project management: Charité – University Medicine Berlin, University Hospital Frankfurt. Participation in the project: All German university hospitals. (Except) university partners: Technical University Darmstadt, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Medicine MEVIS, Bremen.

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Contact Manuela Zingl Company Spokeswoman Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin: +49 30 450 570 400

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