University Medicine Research Network


National University Medicine Research Network on COVID-19 (NUM)

Good research needs good networks, especially in times of global challenges. In the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, this is happening in Germany with the "National University Medicine Network on Covid-19" (NUM). A network of all German university hospitals is tackling the urgent research issues and bundling cross-clinical research activities in 13 projects to cope with the corona pandemic. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is supporting the research activities in the network with a total of 150 million euros. Further information on the network and the latest news can be found here

I am pleased that the MHH can contribute its proven research expertise and experience with the treatment of Covid 19 patients and thus contribute to the best possible care for patients throughout Germany.

MHH President Prof Dr Michael Manns (Founding Director CiiM)

The MHH is actively involved in the network and participates in eight projects, with the local task force based at CiiM. Further information is available on the MHH pages.

Below you will find a brief description of the projects with MHH participation. Further information and contact persons can be found on the MHH project pages.

B-FAST – “National Research Network Applied Surveillance and Testing”

Surveillance involves the observation, analysis, interpretation and reporting of health data. The Corona pandemic shows that different testing and surveillance strategies are needed for the general population, schools and day-care centres, possible risk areas and clinics. B-Fast is developing a platform in which such strategies can be tested. To this end, it brings together different analyses and assessments. In this way, it supports strategies that not only help in the acute crisis, but can also be transferred to future pandemics.

CODEX – “National Research Data Platform”

In this project, a nationwide, uniform, data protection-compliant infrastructure for the storage of Covid-19 research datasets is being created. In this research data platform, for example, laboratory data can be made available to researchers pseudonymised via secure and transparent procedures. This will make the platform a central source of information for various research efforts aimed at developing better treatment approaches for Covid-19.

COVIM – “Determination and utilisation of SARS-CoV-2 immunity”

In the project, numerous university hospitals are cooperating to bring together immunological data from population studies and the examination of covid-19 recovered patients in order to generate new scientific knowledge on immunity against SARS-CoV-2. In addition, the aim is to investigate how immunity can be transferred to other individuals and used for new therapeutic approaches. COVIM works closely with the projects also funded in the University Medicine Network, in particular NAPKON, B-FAST and CEO-sys.

DEFEAT PANDEMIcs – “German Research Network for Autopsies in Pandemics”

In the project, a Germany-wide autopsy network is being established in which data, biomaterials and findings are systematically recorded and brought together in a standardised manner. This unique network of most pathological, neuropathological and forensic medical institutes of the German university hospitals as well as non-university partners enables a deeper understanding of the disease and helps to develop more effective therapeutic approaches.

EViPan – “Development, testing and implementation of regionally adaptive care structures and processes for evidence-led pandemic management coordinated by university medicine”

In order to be able to recognise and treat Covid-19 patients even faster and better in the future and to maintain optimal routine care, a national pandemic management is needed. It also helps to prevent infections and provides an ethical and normative evaluation of care scenarios under pandemic conditions in order to be better prepared for future pandemics. As internationally networked maximum care providers and research institutions, the university hospitals are at the centre of regional health networks. In the project, they cooperate with the Robert Koch Institute, with the public health service and the state governments to jointly achieve the goal.

NAPKON – “National Pandemic Cohort Network”

The NAPKON project lays the foundation for a better understanding of the course of the Covid-19 disease and research into possible therapies by bringing together clinical data, biosamples and imaging data in scientific studies. NAPKON is closely linked to the development of the National Research Data Platform and cooperates with the COVIM project. The studies that become possible in this way can, for example, provide information about the long-term consequences of a Covid-19 disease, even if the patients move from the clinic to the general practitioner during treatment, for example.

PallPan – “National Strategy for Palliative Care in Times of Pandemic”

In this project, recommendations for action and information materials are being developed on a scientific basis in order to provide the best possible care for seriously ill and dying people even in times of pandemics and to be able to take their concerns - as well as the concerns of their relatives - into account. This is the largest structured combination of palliative care in a research project in Germany to date. All areas of outpatient and inpatient hospice and palliative care (general practitioners, specialists, nursing services, palliative services, homes, hospitals, hospices) are being considered.

RACOON – “Radiological Cooperative Network on the Covid-19 Pandemic”

RACOON is the first Germany-wide radiology platform in which almost all university hospitals are involved. Here, X-ray images of patients with suspected Covid-19 are brought together and correlated with the course of the disease. The findings are analysed with the help of artificial intelligence. This enables a faster and more precise diagnosis of the disease and its course and creates a basis for decision-making for epidemiological studies, situation assessments and early warning mechanisms.