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The pandemic within: tackling brain vulnerability in COVID19 at high resolution: NEUROCOV

Project description

Cure for COVID-19 neurological complications

The impact of the frequent neurological and psychiatric complications resulting from SARS-CoV-2 infection can be devasting at the pandemic scale due to lack of treatment. The EU-funded NEUROCOV project will therefore investigate the cognitive and neurodegenerative complications associated with COVID-19, the NeuroCOVID, using an innovative interdisciplinary approach. The goal is to develop a methodology to anticipate and manage personalised vulnerabilities and their impacts at a population level. The broad approach will involve epidemiology, research of the host/virus interaction at the single cell level, and predictive modelling to identify biomarkers and potential drugs for repurposing. The phenotypic spectrum of NeuroCOVID will be obtained through leading national health registries and three clinical cohorts, enabling analysis of the complications, risk factors, and socioeconomic burden.


The COVID19 pandemic has shown our health care fragility vis a vis novel pathogens, with a global disruption on societal welfare. Despite the towering success of vaccine development, lack of preparedness on integrative clinical and molecular phenotyping has emerged with clarity and highlights the need to scale translational efforts for personalized prevention and therapy. Of particular concern are the long-term consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection with high and rising prevalence of chronic manifestations referred to as Post-COVID. Among these the neurological and psychiatric complications stand out for frequency, lack of treatment and devastating impact of their effects at pandemic scale. Here, we tackle the cognitive and neurodegenerative complications of COVID-19, referred to as NeuroCOVID, as a ticking pandemic within the pandemic that requires an innovation leap across disciplines. We pursue a multi scalar approach that reaches from epidemiology and mechanistic interrogation of host/virus interplay at single cell resolution through predictive modelling all the way to validation of biomarkers and repurposed drugs. The aim is to anticipate and effectively manage personalized trajectories of NeuroCOVID vulnerability and their impact at population level. For this we leverage two leading national health registries and three clinical cohorts to characterize the phenotypic spectrum of NeuroCOVID, its risk factors and its socioeconomic burden at high definition. We pioneer innovative robotics to scale brain organoid modelling and combine it with single cell multiOMICs and AI analytics to dissect the principles of the individual host response and render experimentally actionable the authentic genetic backgrounds of differential SARS-CoV-2 sensitivity. Through a substantive engagement of patients’ collectives and health care stakeholders, upstream integration of innovative pipelines streamlines translation and operationalizes precision medicine for emerging medical needs.


Net EU contribution
€ 1 840 030,00
53127 Bonn

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Nordrhein-Westfalen Köln Bonn, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 1 840 030,00

Participants (11)