Funding awarded to Nordic collaboration for post-COVID studies

A collaboration with researchers affiliated with MIMS/Umeå University, FIMM/University of Helsinki and University of Copenhagen has been awarded funding from the Swedish Research Countil for studying clinical featuers and organ impact of post-COVID syndrome.

Dr. Fors Connolly in a white shirt with the lab in the background
Dr. Anne-Marie Fors Connolly Photo: Mattias Petterson

Note: This article originally appeared on the MIMS website:

The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) has awarded 14 projects for Research within post-COVID syndrome 2021, with a total amount of 50 mio SEK. One of the funded projects was submitted by Dr. Anne-Marie Fors Connolly, MIMS clinical research fellow, researcher at the Department of Clinical Microbiology (Umeå University) and clinician at the University Hospital of Umeå.

“This project is a collaboration with Dr. Andrea Ganna (FIMM-EMBL), Dr. Hanna Ollila (FIMM-EMBL), Prof. Naja Hulvej Rod (Copenhagen University) and Dr. Elin Thysell (Umeå University)”, says Anne-Marie.

The aim of this project is to determine clinical features and organ impact of post-COVID syndrome by creating a Nordic database combining Swedish, Finnish and Danish Registry Data for all individuals diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The information the researchers get from the combined registry inputs will provide longitudinal and prospective data for more than 1.5 million COVID-19 patients. This will enable them to authoritatively characterize post-COVID syndrome and identify both common and rare symptomatology of post-COVID syndrome.

Colored virus line all

Picture: Corona virus under electron microscope. Credit: Linda Sandblad, UCEM.

Anne-Marie concludes: “I am delighted to have received this grant, because it will enable this project that combines data from three Nordic countries to characterize the symptomatology and also risk factors such as age, sex, socioeconomic, demographic and comorbidity, for post-COVID-19 syndrome. Using biobank samples, we also hope to identify biomarkers that could potentially predict which individuals are at risk of post-COVID-19 syndrome. “

Two of the collaborative partners, Dr. Andrea Ganna and Dr. Hanna Ollila, are from the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), one of the nodes in the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine. The Nordic EMBL Partnership combines a Danish (DANDRITE), Finnish (FIMM), Norwegian (NCMM) and Swedish (MIMS) research center with excellent knowledge and training within infection biology and medicine to strengthen scientific collaboration and knowledge trade among the Nordic countries.

“This is a great example of a collaboration born within the Nordic EMBL Partnership, which really highlights the strengths of Nordic countries in registry-based and biobank research” says Andrea Ganna from FIMM.


Original project title:
In English: Mapping and risk factor analysis of post-covid in a Nordic database and biobank data.
In Swedish: Kartläggning och risk faktoranalys av post-covid i en Nordisk databas och biobanksdata.

Members of the project:
Prof. Naja Hulvej Rod, Department of Public Health, Section of Epidemiology, University of Copenhagen
Dr. Elin Thysell, Department of Medical Biosciences, Umeå University
Dr. Andrea Ganna, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), Data science genetic epidemiology lab
Dr. Hanna Ollila, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), Genetics of sleep, circadian rhythms and brain autoimmunity lab
Dr. Anne-Marie Fors Connolly, MIMS clinical research fellow, researcher at the Department of Clinical Microbiology (Umeå University), clinician at the University Hospital of Umeå

See the statistics from the Swedish Research Council regarding Research within post-COVID syndrome 2021

Anne-Marie Fors Connolly, leader of the scientific project

Nóra Lehotai, project coordinator and responsible for communications at MIMS