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University of Basel

Covid-19 Research Projects

World map with visualization of infection numbers and propagation routes of the coronavirus.
The website Nextstrain allows you to follow in real time how the novel coronavirus changes and spreads. (Screenshot: nextstrain.org, CC-BY-4.0)

Research at the University of Basel contributes to a better understanding of the dynamics and consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and to developing effective measures to overcome it.

  • Swiss Corona Stress Study

    The Covid-19 pandemic is a particularly stressful situation. The Swiss Corona Stress Study examined the effects of the first lockdown and currently investigates the effects of the second corona wave on the psychological well-being in Switzerland.

    Contact:
    Prof. Dr. Dominique de Quervain
    University of Basel
    Faculty of Psychologie
    phone +41 61 207 02 37
    email: dominique.dequervain@unibas.ch

  • Behavior during the pandemic

    The study "Covid-19 Impact" deals with coping mechanisms and behaviors in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. The international survey focuses on how people participate in government measures such as social distancing, home office, quarantine, etc., how they personally react to and deal with them.

    Contact:
    Prof. Dr. Andrew Gloster
    University of Basel
    Faculty of Psychology
    tel. +41 61 207 02 75
    email: andrew.gloster@unibas.ch

  • Global study on the impact of the pandemic

    What are the physical and mental effects of the Covid-19 pandemic? An international research consortium explores this question with the COH-FIT study (Collaborative Outcomes Study on Health and Functioning during Infection Times) in 148 countries. The international survey project is conducted and analyzed with the participation of researchers from the University of Basel and the Psychiatric University Clinics Basel.

    Contact:
    Prof. Dr. Christian Huber
    University of Basel / Psychiatric University Clinics Basel
    tel. +41 61 325 51 11
    email: christian.huber@upk.ch

Faculty of Science

Faculty of Medicine

  • Modelling the most impactful vaccination strategy in Basel

    Basel is a representative European city in which city quarters have different socioeconomic profiles, defined by living space, income, seniority, among other factors. The reaction of citizens in Basel to the lockdown in spring 2020, as measured by mobility, differed between socioeconomic groups. A team of researchers is tracking cases and clusters of Covid-19 across the city to investigate the impact of socioeconomic factors on the spread of the virus. They are also modelling the impact a vaccination would have in order to determine which groups should be prioritized.

    Contact:
    Prof. Dr. Adrian Egli
    University of Basel
    Department of Biomedicine
    tel.  +41 61 265 42 45
    email: ad.egli@unibas.ch

  • Computational analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genomes from Basel

    By sequencing the full genomes of virus samples collected from patients diagnosed at the University Hospital Basel, researchers perform phylogenetic analysis to trace viral introductions and transmissions in Basel and the surrounding region. They can thus identify the emergence of specific mutations which may affect drug resistance, transmission rates and vaccine efficacy.

    Contact:
    Prof. Dr. Adrian Egli
    University of Basel
    Department of Biomedicine
    tel.  +41 61 265 42 45
    email: ad.egli@unibas.ch

  • Potential of treating Covid-19 with convalescent plasma

    Researchers at the University Hospital and the University of Basel are investigating the possibilities of treating Covid-19 patients by transfusing convalescent blood plasma from convalescent patients. The plasma contains antibodies against the coronavirus. In their study, the researchers want to find out whether this treatment can reduce the severity and duration of the disease.

    Contact:
    Prof. Dr. Manuel Battegay
    University of Basel
    Faculty of Medicine, Infectiology
    tel.  +41 61 328 60 72
    email: manuel.battegay@unibas.ch

  • Interaction of the virus with human organs

    An interdisciplinary team is investigating the interactions of the coronavirus with various tissues and organs of deceased patients. The project will provide insights into the pathogenesis of Covid-19 and the future design of medical interventions for this disease.

    Contact:
    Prof. Dr. Alexandar Tzankov
    University of Basel
    University Hospital Basel
    tel. +41 61 265 3229
    email: alexandar.tzankov@usb.ch

  • Immune response to Covid-19

    A research team investigates the role of patients’ immune response to Covid-19. With the aim of improving therapeutic interventions for Covid-19 patients, they will explore how biological processes in immune cells, particularly metabolism, and their respective functions are affected in patients with varying levels of disease severity.

    Contact:
    Prof. Dr. Christoph Hess
    University of Basel
    Department of Biomedicine
    tel: +41 61 328 68 30
    email: christoph.hess@unibas.ch

  • Acute therapy for SARS-CoV-2 infection

    Researchers from the University of Basel and the University Hospital Basel will evaluate the efficacy and safety of two Covid-19 vaccines (Pfizer Biontech and Moderna) in immunocompromised patients at high risk of complications from SARS-CoV-2 infection. The study will take place as part of the Swiss HIV and Transplant Cohort Study at four university hospitals in Switzerland.

    Contact:
    Prof. Dr. Heiner Bucher
    University of Basel
    University Hospital Basel
    tel: +41 61 328 61 01
    email: heiner.bucher@usb.ch

  • Protecting diabetics against severe disease progression

    Patients with a metabolic syndrome (overweight, diabetes, hypertension) have a particularly bad outcome if infected with Covid-19. A research team led by the University of Basel and the University Hospital Basel is investigating whether the anti-inflammatory Canakinumab has a beneficial effect on the course of Covid-19 in type 2 diabetics

    Contact:
    Prof. Dr. Marc Donath
    University of Basel
    Department of Biomedicine
    University Hospital Basel
    tel. +41 61 265 50 78
    email: marc.donath@unibas.ch

  • Automated follow-up of Covid-19 patients

    In times of Covid-19, consulting a doctor can be problematic due to social distancing and the sometimes necessary home quarantine. This carries the risk that outpatients suspected of being infected with SARS2-CoV-2 are not adequately cared for. The SmartCovid project is investigating whether an algorithm with automated SMS and questionnaires could help to follow-up patients suspected of having Covid-19 without requiring significantly more medical staff.

    Contact:
    PD Dr. Christoph Berger
    University of Basel
    Department of Biomedicine
    tel: +41 61 328 66 31
    email: christoph.berger@unibas.ch

    PD Dr. Michael Mayr
    University Hospital Basel
    Clinic for Ambulatory Internal Medicine
    email: michael.mayr@usb.ch

  • Biobank for Covid-19 research

    With the COVIVA (coronavirus survival) study platform, researchers want to investigate established and new biomarkers for an early and reliable prognosis of Covid-19. In an interdisciplinary approach, this biobank systematically includes patients suspected of having Covid-19 in the emergency and intensive care units of the University Hospital Basel. It also aims to improve the understanding of disease mechanisms and to identify potential new therapeutic targets.

    Contact:
    Dr. Raphael Twerenbold
    University of Basel
    Faculty of Medicine, Cardiology
    tel: +41 61 328 72 16
    email: raphael.twerenbold@unibas.ch

  • Risk factors for severe Sars-CoV-2 infections

    Using data from the Triage and Covid-19 Test Center of the University Hospital Basel, researchers are investigating which risk factors are associated with severe Sars-CoV-2 infections.


    Contact:
    Prof. Dr. Roland Bingisser
    University of Basel
    Department Clinical Research
    tel: +41 61 265 58 30
    email: roland.bingisser@unibas.ch

  • Global database on clinical trials concerning Covid-19

    A research team at the University of Basel and the University Hospital Basel is leading the development of an online platform that lists the latest clinical trials concerning Covid-19. The platform, which is updated daily, is intended to help identify information on the benefits and risks of interventions in the areas of prevention, vaccine development, diagnostics and treatment of Covid-19. Data sources include registers of clinical trials, publications in scientific journals and yet un-reviewed studies on preprint servers.

    Contact:
    PD Dr. Lars Hemkens
    University of Basel
    University Hospital Basel
    tel. +41 61 328 54 04
    email: lars.hemkens@usb.ch

  • Registry for pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection

    A research team with the participation of the University of Basel is in the process of establishing a nationwide registry of pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection. It shall serve as a basis for future research projects to identify possible risks arising from the infection during pregnancy and after birth.

    Contact:
    Prof. Dr. Irene Hösli
    University of Basel
    Faculty of Medicine, Gynecology/Obstetrics
    tel.  +41 61 328 60 84
    email: irene.hoesli@usb.ch / studienhebamme@usb.ch

  • Congenital heart disease and Covid-19

    In an international study, researchers at clinical centres in Switzerland and worldwide are investigating how Covid-19 progresses in people with congenital heart disease. Information on the cases is being collected using a digital tool.

    Contact:
    PD Dr. Daniel Tobler
    University of Basel
    Faculty of Medicine, Cardiology
    tel.  +41 61 265 52 14
    email: d.tobler@unibas.ch

Faculty of Psychology

  • Covid-19 & Sleep

    The survey investigated how the measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic affected sleep, for example, sleep rhythm and sleep quality.

    Contact:
    Dr. Christine Blume
    University of Basel
    University Psychiatric Clinics (UPK) Basel
    Center for Chronobiology
    tel. +41 61 325 50 74
    email: christine.blume@upk.ch

  • Decision-making during the pandemic

    Much of the media coverage of Covid-19 is focused on numbers and statistics. This can be helpful, but also overwhelming and confusing. Social psychologists from the University of Basel have formulated nine practical recommendations that can be used to adapt decision-making behaviour to the current situation.

    Contact:
    Maria Douneva
    Faculty of Psychology
    tel. +41 61 207 03 44
    email: maria.douneva@unibas.ch

Faculty of Law

  • Orientation platform on the legal situation during the pandemic

    The current situation is also exceptional from a legal point of view: the Federal Council is ruling with emergency powers, parliamentary work has been suspended and referendums have been postponed. The task of jurisprudence is to classify and analyse the decrees that have come into force within a short period of time and to take a stand on questions of application and interpretation. The orientation platform "ius coronae" offers an overview of the research contributions of the Faculty of Law and serves the dynamic exchange on the extraordinary legal situation in the Corona crisis.

  • Equality before the triage

    Researchers of the Faculty of Law have investigated the legal framework for prioritising high-priority Covid-19 patients in intensive care. They came to the conclusion that both the relevant guidelines of the Swiss Academy of Medical Science (SAMS) and the recommendations of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI) are incompatible with elementary constitutional and criminal law.

    Contact:
    Prof. Dr. Bijan Fateh-Moghadam
    University of Basel
    Faculty of Law
    tel. +41 61 207 25 57
    email: bijan.fateh@unibas.ch

  • Government measures against Covid-19

    Government measures play a central role in the fight against the corona pandemic (bans on events, closure of businesses, etc.). People are more willing to comply with the rules of conduct if the measures are correct under the rule of law, non-discriminatory and proportionate. This assessment requires legal know-how in the areas of labour law, social security law, health law, human rights and data protection law, among others. A research project is set to address these questions.

    Contact:
    Prof. Dr. Kurt Pärli 
    University of Basel
    Faculty of Law
    tel. +41 61 207 24 85
    email: kurt.paerli@unibas.ch

  • Legal questions concerning work and employment

    The coronavirus pandemic leads to uncertainties with regard to work and employment. Numerous questions arise for employers and employees, especially in the areas of default of acceptance, obligation to continue to pay wages, termination and liability for inadequate health protection. The situation is also a challenge for the social security system, in particular unemployment insurance. In addition, questions of social security for self-employed persons arise.

    Contact:
    Prof. Dr. Kurt Pärli
    University of Basel
    Faculty of Law
    tel. +41 61 207 24 85
    email: kurt.paerli@unibas.ch

Institute for European Global Studies

  • Avoiding age discrimination

    In the course of the measures against Covid-19 it is also important to respect the prohibition of age discrimination. Researchers of the Institute for European Global Studies have examined the triage guidelines of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS). In their current version, these triage guidelines stipulate specific age limits for intensive care treatments in cases of resource shortages.

    Contact:
    Prof. Dr. Christa Tobler
    University of Basel
    Institute for European Global Studies
    tel: +41 61 207 48 52
    email: christa.tobler@unibas.ch

    lic. iur. Mark-Anthony Schwestermann, Attorney at Law
    University of Basel
    Institute for European Global Studies
    tel: +41 61 207 48 55
    email: markanthony.schwestermann@unibas.ch

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Pandemics from a historical point of view

    The research project «Climate Change, Pandemics, and the Transition to Late Antiquity» approaches the problem from a historical point of view and aims to assess the influence of climate change and pandemics as catalysts of social upheavals that may have led to the global crisis of the Roman Empire in the third century AD. The project is conducted by an interdisciplinary team of ancient historians, papyrologists and paleoclimatologists.

    Contact:
    Prof. Dr. Sabine Huebner
    University of Basel
    Department of Ancient Civilizations
    Ancient History
    tel. +41 61 207 12 51
    email: sabine.huebner@unibas.ch

  • Social interaction in times of Covid-19

    Handshakes, hugs and kisses were an essential part of opening of encounters. In the Corona crisis, greeting are radically transformed by  embodied distancing. How do social, interpersonal, embodied and formal relationships change between people who come together in everyday life and at work? That is the question addressed by the project "Human Sociality in the Age of Covid-19: How people (dis)engage in social interaction".

    Contact:
    Prof. Dr. Lorenza Mondada
    University of Basel
    Department of Languages and Literatures
    tel. +41 61 207 13 33
    email: lorenza.mondada@unibas.ch

  • Protests against corona measures

    Researchers at the Institute of Sociology investigate the motivation, values and beliefs of participants in rallies and demonstrations against corona-related measures such as wearing masks. For this purpose, they make direct contact with the participants in protests and other critics of the corona measures, among others, in order to question them about their views and to represent them.

    Contact:
    Dr. Robert Schäfer
    University of Basel
    Department of Social Sciences
    tel. +41 61 207 24 26
    email: robert.schaefer@unibas.ch

    Prof. Dr. Oliver Nachtwey
    University of Basel
    Department of Social Sciences
    tel. +41 61 207 28 17
    email: oliver.nachtwey@unibas.ch

Faculty of Business and Economics

  • Overview of projects by the Faculty of Business and Economics

    The Faculty of Business and Economics collects on its website the projects concerning the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects.

  • Lockdown and home office in Switzerland

    An analysis by economists summarizes how well different professions in the corona lockdown are suited for home office, and what consequences the different suitability could have for the individual economic sectors, regions and population groups in Switzerland.

    Contact:
    Christian Rutzer
    University of Basel
    Center for International Economics and Business (CIEB)
    Tel. +41 61 207 33 00
    E-Mail: christian.rutzer@unibas.ch

  • Effect on employment in Switzerland

    Researchers have examined the need for physical presence at the workplace, also taking into account the fact that some essential sectors are excluded from federal measures against Covid-19. From this, they have developed a so-called "lockdown index" that varies across cantons, labour market regions and sectors. Their study shows a positive correlation between this index and the current rise in unemployment in Swiss industries.

    Contact:
    Prof. Dr. Kurt Schmidheiny
    University of Basel
    Faculty of Business and Economics
    Applied Econometrics
    tel. +41 61 207 33 72
    email: kurt.schmidheiny@unibas.ch

Institute for Educational Sciences

  • Universities and the switch to online teaching

    A research team at the Institute for Educational Sciences of the University of Basel, in collaboration with "Eucor - The European Campus", is conducting a survey among university teachers to shed light on the transition from conventional teaching to online teaching due to the coronavirus. This survey is part of an international study that focuses on the experiences, attitudes and needs of university teachers during this challenging situation. Initial results show that the shift to online teaching was largely perceived as successful by faculty, particularly due to their own adaptability and openness to new educational technologies.

    Contact:
    Prof. Dr. Elena Makarova
    Institute for Educational Sciences
    tel. +41 61 207 53 01
    email: elena.makarova@unibas.ch

Center for Philanthropy Studies (CEPS)

  • Voluntary work during the Corona crisis

    In the Corona crisis, many people in Switzerland are involved as volunteers through various online platforms that coordinate helpers and people seeking help. This survey examined the experiences of these Corona volunteers in order to better understand the contribution that volunteering and coordination via platforms make to overcoming the crisis. The results should provide insights into volunteering in the future.

    Contact:
    Nicholas Arnold
    University of Basel
    Center for Philanthropy Studies (CEPS)
    Tel. +41 61 207 56 28
    E-Mail: n.arnold@unibas.ch

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