COVID-19 “Task force”
STRATAGEM contributes to Covid-19 research and to initiating an inter-COST Actions network on Covid-19
CA17104 “New diagnostic and therapeutic tools against multidrug-resistant tumors” (STRATAGEM) recently created a “Task Force” of researchers trying to contribute to Covid-19 research. This Task Force is being coordinated by Helena Vasconcelos from University of Porto, Portugal and by Thomas Mohr from Science Consult, Austria, with the strong support from the Action Chair, Chiara Riganti from University of Turin, Italy, and the Vice-Chair, Javier de las Rivas from University of Salamanca, Spain. The objectives of this Task Force are mainly to:
i) synthesize new drugs or identify FDA approved drugs which could be repurposed as antiviral agents against SARS-CoV-2, and
ii) contribute to diagnosis or prognosis of Covid-19.
In order to accomplish these objectives, the coordinators of this Task Force soon identified the need to establish collaborations with scientists having complementary expertise. Consequently, they decided to contact the Chairs of other COST Actions having such complementary knowledge and ask them to start an “inter-COST Actions, Task Force on Covid-19”. The identification of interested COST Actions was possible with the help of Karina Marcus, CA17104 Scientific Officer, COST Association in Brussels, and that of the CA17104 Manager, Dale Lawson. The reception from the other COST Actions to this “inter-COSTs collaboration” was extremely positive and encouraging, allowing to establish a powerful network among COST Actions to move this novel research forward.
Currently, the following COST Actions have joined this informal “inter-COST Actions network on Covid-19”:
- CA17104 (Chair: Chiara Riganti, University of Turin, )
- CA17129 (Chair: Yvan Devaux, Luxembourg Institute of Health, )
- CA15135 (Chair: Stefano Alcaro, Magna Græcia University of Catanzaro, )
- CA15120 (Chair: Harald Schmidt, Maastricht University, )
- CA15111 (Chair: Modra Murovska, Riga Stradins University, )
- CA15114 and CIG-15114 (Chair: Minna Keinänen-Toivola, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, )
This inter-COST network of researchers allowed joining researchers with necessary complementary expertise and skills in medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, cellular biology, molecular biology, genetics, systems medicine, medicine, bioinformatics, biotechnology, and virology. This initiative will allow establishing new essential collaborations to move this novel research forward, not only by complementing knowledge and skills but also by allowing necessary access to reagents, samples, or newly developed computer software.
Other COST Actions might still join this initiative and increase the potential of this remarkable group of researchers to contribute significantly to Covid-19 research. This initiative is a tremendous opportunity to use the full potential of COST networks and contribute significantly to solving this new public health problem.
There is a report on the “Task Force” in the latest COST newsletter among 10 stories about COST Actions who are working on COVID-19 related projects. From conspiracy theories, to anti-microbial coatings, to an inter-COST network of Actions advancing research on coronavirus, plus much more besides. Find out more on the COST website. Click here to read the newsletter (29.4.2020)
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