Numerous RESIST scientists in the various institutions have expanded their work and are now also focusing on SARS-CoV-2:
Professor Dr. Luka Čičin-Šain at the HZI is developing new technologies for improved serological virus diagnostics, for vaccine development and for identification of antiviral molecules against SARS-CoV-2. His team also works on neutralising antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.
Professor Dr. Markus Cornberg and Professor Dr. Thomas Illig are working with a team of doctors at the MHH on establishing a cohort of COVID-19 patients. The cohort is needed to elucidate disease development, the severity of its course and to improve the treatment of COVID-19 patients. By comparing people suffering from COVID-19 with healthy volunteers of the RESIST study, they try to find out why some people – even without pre-existing conditions – are severly affected by COVID-19. Are there for example genetic reasons for a higher susceptibility? The aim is to obtain approaches for new therapies.
Professor Dr. Markus Cornberg and Professor Dr. Immo Prinz and other colleagues at MHH are investigating reactions of the innate and acquired immune system to SARS-CoV-2 in order to identify new approaches for therapies.
In the search for a suitable vaccine against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, Professor Dr. Reinhold Förster is testing a promising vaccine based on a smallpox virus at MHH in cooperation with the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.
Professor Dr. Rita Gerardy-Schahn, Dr. Gisa Gerold, Professor Dr. Thomas Pietschmann and Professor Dr. Ulrich Kalinke are project partners of the international research consortium iCAIR®. In their project, already existing libraries of reactive agents are analysed for later development of a drug against SARS-CoV-2.Good candidates can be chemically modified if necessary.
Professor Dr. Ulrich Kalinke is developing a preclinical mouse model for SARS-CoV-2 infection at TWINCORE. He is also working on the production of SARS-CoV-2-neutralising monoclonal antibodies from blood samples of recovered COVID-19 patients.
At the HZI, Professor Dr. Gérard Krause is investigating the dynamics of infection spread of the novel coronavirus within the population. Moreover, he is working on a SARS-CoV-2 specific antibody test to determine protective immunity and is coordinating the EU project CORESMA, which aims to close existing gaps between clinical, epidemiological and immunological information in order to better respond to the pandemic.
Professor Dr. Michael Meyer-Hermann at HZI is using mathematical modelling to gain new insights into the risk assessment of the coronavirus pandemic.
Professor Dr. Rolf Müller carries out diagnostic studies on COVID-19 at the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS) in Saarbrücken.
Professor Dr. Albert Osterhaus works at TiHo on antibodies that act against a protein on the SARS-CoV-2 virus envelope. The antibodies are designed to block the above protein in order to neutralise and disarm the new coronavirus.
Professor Dr. Thomas Pietschmann and Professor Dr. Thomas Schulz, TWINCORE and MHH, are part of an international research network that is investigating whether drugs, which are already approved in another context, are also effective against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. You can find more information here.
Professor Dr. Guus Rimmelzwaan works at TiHo on improvement of vaccine candidates against SARS-CoV-2. Using his tests it will be possible to check whether a vaccine can trigger the production of protective T cells in humans.
Professor Dr. Thomas Schulz, Professor Dr. Thomas Krey and Professor Dr. Markus Cornberg are working together with Professor Dr. Rainer Blasczyk and Professor Dr. Axel Haverich as well as other scientists at the MHH and the University Hospital of Lübeck on gaining antibodies for therapeutic reason from patients who have overcome COVID-19 disease. Protective antibodies will be developed to prevent virus binding to human cells. Professor Dr. Albert Osterhaus at the TiHo monitors safety of the antibodies in animal models.
Professor Dr. Till Strowig is analysing susceptibility of children to the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 at HZI with the help of the LöwenKIDS cohort – among others in collaboration with Dr. Gisa Gerold.
Further information about SARS-CoV-2 and RESIST can be found here:
– An interview with RESIST spokesperson Professor Dr. Thomas Schulz on corona research in RESIST can be found here.
– You can find the MHH corona research website here.
– You can find the website of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) here.
– You can find the website of the TWINCORE Centre for Experimental Infection Research (in German language) here.
– Professor Dr. Thomas Schulz, among others, provides answers to questions relating to the coronavirus on the MHH homepage. Please click here.