Coronavirus outbreak

The partnership nodes are committed to providing a safe work environment for their staff. New measures and activities are taken into action by the Nordic EMBL Partnership in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak.

2020.04.07 | Aisha Rafique

Currently, the coronavirus pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on the globe. What is of paramount importance in these unusual and difficult circumstances, is the wellbeing of our employees, their families and friends, and our local communities.

The University of Helsinki, Oslo and Aarhus are physically closed and have temporarily stud-down of all non-critical activities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, Umea University has considerably reduced accessibility to study spaces, laboratories and research facilities and recommends staff and researchers to work from home. The universities have established digital teaching to deliver lectures and talks. The partnership nodes are also continuously reviewing the COVID-19 situation and are updating their websites as necessary. All courses, conferences and events that include physical participation have been cancelled or indefinitely postponed. To sustain research activities the nodes have initiated several new measures such as virtual meetings and online talks to sustain knowledge exchange and ongoing partnership activities.

Find below some information and links on new activities and measures offered by the partnership nodes/universities in relation to the coronavirus pandemic:

Visit the DANDRITE website to access webinars that will provide insight on how to maintain work/life balance and find a range of online courses and software tools on programming, statistical and graphical platforms. Also, find inspiration and good advice on how to work from home. 

FIMM has taken proactive measures regarding the COVID-19 situation and you can find more information and the latest news at the University of Helsinki website.  Researchers at FIMM have launched the `COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative´ - an initiative that aims to identify genetic variants associated with COVID-19 susceptibility and severity. More information about the project is available here. The FIMM technology Centre units are currently highly active in supporting COVID-19 research and the University of Helsinki are helping the national healthcare system in the coronavirus crisis. In addition, a recent article published in sciencemag.org reports how human geneticists are working together to investigate COVID-19 patients’ genomes for DNA variation that may explain coronavirus disease selectivity.      


Learn more about NCMM’s temporarily shut-down and find more information and updates on the University of Oslo website. Students and employees at the University of Oslo are able to access medical textbooks here.     

Lastly, find latest news, more information and preventive measures against the spreading of the coronavirus at the Umea University website. MIMS are currently conducting extensive research to combat the corona crisis. Oliver Billker, the director of MIMS says: “It makes me very proud to see how our community of researchers and clinical fellows is rising to the challenges posed by SARS-CoV-2. Our scientists were very quick to work out how to culture the virus.  Realizing that we would need to expand our ability to find out who has already been infected, researchers in Umeå developed their own assay for SARS-CoV-2 serological testing. Our current and former MIMS Group Leaders Anna Överby Wernstedt, Andrea Puhar and Felipe Cava have made critical contributions. Research into COVID-19 is conducted by our former MIMS Clinical Research Fellows Anders Johansson, Johan Normark and Alicia Edin, who are also heavily involved in organizing and providing clinical care. These are just a few examples. We have many excellent virologists and other infection researchers in Umeå, and all of us are considering carefully if and where we can come together to make a difference.”

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