UG sets up crowdfunding for corona research
Why are some people badly affected while others barely feel anything? What are the long-term effects of the virus? How do we make antibodies or become immune? In order to answer these questions, the Groningen researchers are using the biobank’s health data and Lifelines’ new data on corona.
This research has already led to a lot of information, thanks to the cooperation of ten thousand participants in the northern provinces; during this corona crisis, they’re filling out weekly surveys on their health. The researchers want to expand their study to the rest of the country, but that takes a lot of money.
Answers to many questions
Director Jochen Mierau with the Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health, one of the participants in the crowdfunding campaign: ‘The Lifelines participants are giving us a wealth of information which holds the answers to many questions.’
According to Mierau, the fact that some people get seriously ill while others just feel like they have a mild cold can be due to various factors, such as heredity, as well as someone’s immune system, environmental factors, lifestyle, and socio-economic position.
Collecting, processing, and analysing all that data is expensive. Mierau: ‘Part of the money is coming from our own organisations, but we’re also asking everyone in the north of the Netherlands and the rest of the country to help us.’
Crowdfunding against corona
You can donate through the website Crowdfunding against corona. The initiative was set up by the Ubbo Emmius Fund in collaboration with the Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health, the UG, the UMCG, Lifelines, and NDC Mediagroep.
The Ubbo Emmius Fund was named after the UG’s first rector magnificus. The UEF is an independent foundation with an autonomous board helmed by Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever. The board members, all of whom are UG alumni, volunteer for the foundation.