Scientists from Riga Stradiņš University (RSU) have started research to reduce the consequences of Covid-19 by attracting funding in the amount of 1.33 million euros, Ieva Nora Gediņa, the university’s media relations manager, informed LETA.
She revealed that epidemiologists, infectologists, public health specialists, molecular biologists, pharmacists, biochemists, bioinformatics, lawyers, economists, political scientists, psychologists, communication specialists and other RSU scientists will work intensively in seven projects approved by the Latvian Science Council by the end of the year. ) in the national Covid-19 mitigation program.
According to Gediņa, the overarching goal of the state research program announced by the Latvian Council of Science is to limit the spread of Covid-19 infection, protect the population and implement high-readiness scientific projects, as well as urgently restore economic activity and socially active daily life.
Research is carried out in three thematic areas: health and public health, engineering, and the economy and public welfare. In total, it is planned to implement 10 projects by 31 December 2020, which, according to LZP, have been highly appreciated by international scientific experts.
Gediņa stated that the largest in terms of volume and funding are the project “Impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on the health care system and public health in Latvia; Strengthening the preparedness of the health sector for future epidemics ”, project“ Clinical, biochemical, immunogenetic paradigms of Covid-19 infection and their correlation with socio-demographic, etiological, pathogenetic, diagnostic, therapeutic and prognostic factors ”led by Professor Ludmila Viksna, Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases The project “Life with Covid-19: an assessment of overcoming the coronovirus crisis in Latvia and proposals for the future sustainability of society” led by Alise Tīfentāle, a researcher at the Department of Communication Studies.
In the opinion of the director of the Department of Science, the “homework” was also important, namely, in the early stages of the emergency RSU scientists created a database of possible research topics that could be implemented in the context of RSU pandemic, constantly supplementing it, as well as participating in ideas in LZP Covid-19 research. platform.
“When the national research program was announced, the fact that the researchers already had ideas and projects started, as well as all the necessary permits for the collection and use of patient samples, helped to mobilize quickly,” said Nikitina-Zake, emphasizing that Boris and the Inara Teterev Foundation, which provided funding for the involvement of Covid-19 patients.
It was explained that, thanks to the support of the fund, it was possible to start collecting biological samples and phenotypic data, which will be used in the future for virus and disease research, including in the national research program.
At the same time, Gediņa revealed that the director of the RSU Science Department has expressed satisfaction that the approved projects are complementary. For example, the project “Development of an integrated biobank of associated samples and associated data platform for Covid-19 in Latvia” collects data, which is then analyzed in a project led by Professor Vīksna.
The RSU representative pointed out that the interaction and data exchange will also take place between medical and health care, as well as social science projects. In addition, the data obtained will be open and available for use by other researchers and the general public.