Covid 19 Research Network Lower Saxony


LEBAO is part of the Covid 19 research network in Lower Saxony. In the latest round of funding, the state of Lower Saxony is supporting four studies on Long Covid with two million euros.

The current sharp rise in the number of corona infections will lead to a sharp rise in the number of long covid patients. According to current studies, around ten to 15 percent of all people infected with corona suffer from late effects of the disease. Mild or asymptomatic courses apparently do not protect against this. Diagnostic indicators for prediction are currently not available. This makes scientific findings on the causes of long covid and thus also on treatment options all the more important. For this reason, the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science is now funding four research projects on different aspects related to long covid with a total of around two million euros. The Covid 19 Research Network Lower Saxony, or COFONI, launched by the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science in 2020, selected the projects based on their outstanding quality.

"For many people, the end of the acute illness is not the end of their suffering. In the long term, they suffer from symptoms as diverse as muscle pain, chronic fatigue, respiratory problems or concentration disorders," said Lower Saxony's Science Minister Björn Thümler. "With COFONI, we have created a cross-disciplinary research network in Lower Saxony that will help us combat the long-term consequences of the pandemic."

More: Lower Saxony funds four studies on Long Covid with two million euros | Nds. Ministry of Science and Culture

          Combining knowledge against SARS-CoV-2: COVID-19 Research Network Lower Saxony | UMG



COFONI Projects at LEBAO

Project: Role of TMPRSS2 proteolysis in SARS-CoV-2 spread in cells of the respiratory tract and in vivo

Several highly effective vaccines have been developed in record time, but effective antiviral drugs against COVID-19 are still lacking. The transmembrane serine protease TMPRSS2 could be a therapeutic target for future drugs.

Cooperation Partners:

  • Luka Cicin-Sain – Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung (HZI), Braunschweig / Zentrums für individualisierte Infektionsmedizin (CIIM), Hannover 
  • Stefan Pöhlmann – Georg-August-University Göttingen (UG) / German Primate Center (DPZ), Göttingen
  • Ulrich Martin –  LEBAO, MHH
  • Armin Braun – Fraunhofer-Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine (ITEM), Hannover


Project: Air-Liquid Interface cultures of human primary distal respiratory epithelial for in vitro modelling of SARS-CoV2 infections

To investigate the viral life cycle and the pathophysiology of SARS-CoV2, in this project we will first establish methods for isolating and expanding distal epithelial cells from human lung explants and differentiate these into AT1 cells in air-liquid interface cultures that can serve as an in vitro model for SARS-CoV2 infections.

Cooperation Partners: