New treatment to protect patients from severe COVID-19 is being tested in the UK

New treatment to protect patients from severe COVID-19 is being tested in the UK


Sir Stephen Holgate MAE leads the research group at the University of Southampton where the new treatment has been developed. 


Interferon beta (IFNb) is a naturally occurring protein that orchestrates the body’s antiviral responses. Respiratory viruses, including coronavirus have developed a mechanism to suppress IFNb production by the lung, helping the virus to escape the immune response and thereby putting patients at risk of severe lung disease. 

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AE webinar on ‘New perspectives on COVID-19’

AE webinar on ‘New perspectives on COVID-19’



26th January 2021, 14:00 CEST, 13:00 GMT


About the webinar

This webinar on ‘New Perspectives on COVID-19’ will consist of 6 presentations by Members of Academia Europaea, who have all recently published papers on various biomedical aspects of COVID-19. The presentations will address a wide range of issues, including the genetics of the disease, how the virus enters cells, a focus on the vulnerable lipid envelope of the virus, how to explain the mysterious silent hypoxemia that gives rise to uncompensated low oxygen levels in the blood, a new ion channel target in the airways and how to understand the psychiatric aspects of COVID-19. The short presentations will be followed by a discussion session moderated by Ole Petersen.

This webinar is aimed at an international audience, in particular researchers, biomedical students, clinicians, and professionals in the healthcare and biomedical fields.

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Psychiatric face of COVID-19’: by Luca Steardo Jr, Luca Steardo MAE and Alex Verkhratsky MAE

Psychiatric face of COVID-19’: by Luca Steardo Jr, Luca Steardo MAE and Alex Verkhratsky MAE


This review highlights the importance of appropriate management of psychiatric aspects of COVID-19. The authors consider that paying insufficient attention to such issues could have serious implications for patients’ mental wellbeing.


In the review, the authors discuss the serious clinical challenges posed by COVID-19 systemic inflammation that can affect the central nervous system and aggravate mental health disorders.

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Science Advice – What works in a Crisis?

Science Advice – What works in a Crisis?



2020’s Covid-19 outbreak has shone the spotlight on science advice like never before. How well are Europe’s science advice frameworks standing up to this major stress test?

Webinar: 16th September, 13:30 CEST, 12:30 BST UK

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Hub webinar on Translational Medicine attracts a global audience

Hub webinar on Translational Medicine attracts a global audience



The Cardiff Hub has run its first webinar, on the topic of The Future of Translational Medicine. An international audience of around 300 from 28 countries participated in the live session.

The panellists, Professors Stephen Holgate, Ole Petersen and Péter Hegyi


The webinar, held 29th June 2020, was sponsored by MDPI and the Journal of Clinical Medicine. Ole Petersen, the Cardiff Hub Director, chaired a distinguished panel of speakers. 

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‘Endocytic Uptake of SARS-COV-2: Roles of pH, Ca2+ and NAADP’ by Ole Petersen FRS MAE

‘Endocytic Uptake of SARS-COV-2: Roles of pH, Ca2+ and NAADP’ by Ole Petersen FRS MAE



The paper highlights how interdisciplinary research will help to understand how SARS-COV-2 affects the gastrointestinal system

Professor Ole Petersen MAE

Ole Petersen MAE (in collaboration with Oleg V Gerasimenko and Julia V Gerasimenko) describes an entirely unexpected link between SARS-COV-2 infection and physiological calcium signalling, thereby providing new insights into the mechanism by which this virus enters the cells in our body.

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New open access journal FUNCTION launches operations, with a review published on the potential of oral mouthwash to reduce Covid-19 transmission

New open access journal FUNCTION launches operations, with a review published on the potential of oral mouthwash to reduce Covid-19 transmission



We are delighted to announce that the new open access journal FUNCTION has published its first articles, with an inaugural editorial by Editor-in-Chief Ole Petersen and a review led by Cardiff University’s Professor Val O’Donnell on a possible means of reducing Covid-19 transmission through the use of oral mouthwash.

In his inaugural editorial, Professor Petersen has announced that the American Physiological Society’s new peer-reviewed open access journal FUNCTION, published in partnership with Oxford University Press, is now operational and ready to receive submissions. The first to be published is a review into the potential of oral mouthwash to reduce Covid-19 transmission in the early stages of infection.  The review has been conducted by researchers from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine led by Professor Val O’Donnell, along with the universities of Nottingham, Colorado, Ottawa, Barcelona and Cambridge’s Babraham Institute, and  included virologists, lipid specialists, microbicide and healthcare experts.  

The review shows previous studies where chemicals commonly found in mouthwashes, such as low amounts of ethanol, povidone-iodine and cetylpyridinium damage the lipid membranes of several enveloped viruses. More research is needed to show whether this could also be effective in reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the early stages of infection. 

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