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Andreas Bergthaler receives FWF Urgent Funding for further studies on SARS-CoV-2


Pictured from left to right: Science Minister Heinz Faßmann, Andreas Bergthaler (Project Manager at CeMM), Giulio Superti-Furga (CeMM Scientific Director), Anna Schedl (Project Coordinator at CeMM), Anita Ender (CeMM Administrative Director) and Gregor Weihs (FWF President). (Photo credit: FWF/Novotny)

CeMM congratulates our Principal Investigator Andreas Bergthaler: He is one of the four newly funded researchers who are further expanding their corona research with funding from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).

With funding from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), Austria’s top researchers have the opportunity to study the Corona pandemic and its consequences. In recent months, 19 research teams were able to get started under the SARS-CoV-2 urgent funding program, and now four more FWF-funded teams are joining them: physician Alice Assinger from the Medical University of Vienna, microbiologist Andreas Bergthaler from CeMM, educational scientist Oliver Koenig from Bertha von Suttner Private University in St. Pölten, and family sociologist Ulrike Zartler from the University of Vienna.

Identifying and understanding the pathways of SARS-CoV-2 spread

CeMM PI Andreas Bergthaler together with Christoph Bock lead the team that is carrying out large-scale sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 viruses in Austria and analyzing the spread of mutations. Back in autumn in 2020, the group published a highly-cited study on the mutational dynamics of SARS-COV-2 in the prestigious journal Science Translational Medicine (DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.abe2555), and their research provides information on how and where the coronavirus mutations spread within Austria. The FWF urgent funding will allow Andreas Bergthaler to further deepen his research in order to better understand the spread of the virus and its mutations. The findings will improve the knowledge base for future measures to contain the pandemic.

SARS-CoV-2 Project Website:

Basic research helps manage the pandemic

"We already know quite a bit about Corona, but by no means everything. Researchers like Andreas Bergthaler have been working tirelessly for weeks to close these gaps in our knowledge. His work and the expertise of countless colleagues from very different fields are helping us to better understand the virus, the crisis and its consequences." said Federal Minister Heinz Faßmann on the occasion of the latest funding allowance provided to top researchers by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).

"We enable scientists from all disciplines to intensify their corona research at the highest quality level. Building on their findings, policymakers and society can find answers to the current crisis, but also for future challenges," said interim FWF President Gregor Weihs.

FWF urgent funding: accelerated procedure without compromising quality

As an immediate response to the Corona pandemic, the FWF initiated SARS-CoV-2 urgent funding in March 2020 - a fast-track procedure for research applications dealing with the prevention, early detection, containment as well as research of SARS-CoV-2, with a particular focus on international cooperation. In addition, projects that focus their research interest on technical, ecological, economic, political, legal, medical, cultural, psychological, or ethical implications of SARS-CoV-2 are encouraged to apply. The expertise of virtually all basic research disciplines is needed in the current situation. The fast-track process for research proposals addressing SARS-CoV-2 runs until the end of March 2021.

We thank the FWF for supporting CeMM in researching and combating SARS-CoV-2!

Read the FWF Press Release (in German).