News 2020

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CAS in Clinical Research in Health Care Organisations – registration open

02.12.2020 - The next course of advanced studies in clinical research starts with the kickoff meeting on the 28th April 2021. Registration is now open on Continue reading

Teacher of the year 2019: Thomas Abel

02.12.2019 - Each year the program directors of the three Swiss Universities MPH program honor teachers responsible for modules evaluated as outstanding by the students. Thomas Abel has received this award again in 2019 for his course «Grundlagen der Gesundheitswissenschaft und Sozialepidemiologie». Continue reading

CAS in Sex- and Gender-Specific Medicine: Start in March 2021

27.11.2020 - Understanding how sex and gender interact enhances the quality of science, health, and medicine. Covid-19 is an excellent example of this. We are therefore very pleased to announce the start of the continuing education course CAS in Sex- and Gender-Specific Medicine ( with several speakers from ISPM in March 2021. Continue reading

Astrophysics and epidemiology: The image on the left shows an artist’s impression of a sunset over the exoplanet KELT-9b (© Denis Bajram). The image on the right is from an artistic animation of the coronavirus © Pexels

What exoplanets have to do with the coronavirus

25.11.2019 – Astrophysicist Kevin Heng and epidemiologist Christian Althaus have just published a joint study. In an interview with «uniaktuell», the two researchers explain what the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19 has to do with exoplanetary chemistry and what they hope to gain from INPUT, a newly founded interfaculty platform. Continue reading

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Three ISPM Professors among the list of Highly Cited Researchers 2020

22.11.2020 – Professors Georgia Salanti, Matthias Egger and Oscar H. Franco from ISPM Bern have been included in the 2020 list of world’s most influential researchers. Continue reading

Oscar Franco receives «Epidemiology Academic of the Year (Europe)» award from Global Health and Pharma Magazine

13.11.2020 – Academic success is a great way to measure the intelligence and importance of a certain individual, but Professor Oscar H. Franco is so much more than that. As the Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, and Director of the Institute of Social and Preventative Medicine (ISPM) at the University of Bern, Professor Franco is one of the most influential figures in the world of epidemiology. Continue reading

Special Talk on «COVID-19 vaccine allocation and prioritization during a pandemic under vaccine supply constraints»

11.11.2020 – With effective vaccines on the horizon new questions emerge in our struggle to overcome the current pandemic. In a fantastic talk Prof. Annelies Wilder-Smith from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine addresses the key issues in distribution of SarsCov2 vaccination. Continue reading

ESTHER Alliance event: «Improving Health Service Quality through Health Partnerships»

10.11.2020 – The ESTHER Alliance is pleased to invite to a joint event with WHO and THET: «Improving Health Service Quality through Health Partnerships». Continue reading

Orestis Efthimiou appointed honorary member of Oxford University

21.10.2020 – Dr. Orestis Efthimiou has been appointed an honorary member of the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Oxford. Continue reading

E-cigarette use is common among adolescents in Switzerland

20.10.2020 – A recent study from the ISPM Bern and the children’s hospitals in Bern and Zurich highlights results of the LuftiBus in the school study (LUIS). It found that e-cigarette use is common among older schoolchildren and that adolescents tend to combine smoking e-cigarettes, shisha and conventional cigarettes. Adolescents who smoked reported more respiratory symptoms than those who did not. Continue reading

Annual report ISPM 2019

15.09.2020 – The 2019 annual ISPM report marks the first steps towards our strategy ISPM2030. With dedication and commitment ISPM collaborators have achieved enormous success, new research fields such as climate change and health and cardio-metabolic research have been implemented. New collaborations have been established with the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research and the Paraplegic Research at Nottwil and on the international level collaborations have been initialized and strengthened. Continue reading

New Ambizione fellowship to be funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF)

15.09.2020 – Andreas Haas has been awarded an SNF Ambizione fellowship to study the causal pathways leading to lower life expectancy in people living with mental illness in South Africa. Continue reading

Editor's Choice Award for article «COVID-19: The forgotten priorities of the pandemic»

24.06.2020 – The article “COVID-19: The forgotten priorities of the pandemic”, written by ISPM PhD student Cristina Mesa Vieira and Professors Oscar Franco and Thomas Abel jointly with Carlos Gomez (Javeriana University, Colombia), has been awarded the Editor's Choice for the June Edition of Maturitas (Vol. 136). Continue reading

Up to 11% of health care workers globally might be infected from SARS-CoV-2

14.09.2020 – Health care workers (HCW) are at the frontline response to the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), exposing themselves to a higher risk of acquiring the disease, and subsequently, exposing patients and colleagues. Characterizing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 infection) within health-care workers is critical for designing effective preventive measures to limit the transmission of the virus within a hospital, and from hospitals to the community, and thus achieving optimal control of the pandemic. Continue reading

ISPM's Matthias Egger Reelected President of the National Research Council

11.09.2020 – The executive committee of the Swiss National Science Foundation has retained Matthias Egger for a second four-year term as President of the National Research Council of the SNSF. Continue reading

Meta-analysis from 189 studies indicate alerted levels of iron and anemia biomarkers in Covid-19

21.08.2020 – A new study led by researchers at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine in Bern Switzerland within an international collaboration, has found that patients with severe COVID-19 or those who did not survive this infection had differences in levels of iron and anemia biomarkers, compared to those with less severe disease or those who survived, respectively. The study was published at the European Journal of Epidemiology. Continue reading

ISPM leads NRP 78 «Covid-19» project project to investigate the impact of the pandemic on mental health

07.08.2020 – Georgia Salanti's proposal for «A continuously updated meta-ecological study of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health, alcohol/substance abuse and violence in the general population» is now funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. Continue reading

Lockdown exit strategies must treat health and economy as equally important, argue researchers

13.07.2020 – Strategies for the safe reopening of low and middle-income countries (LMICs) from months of strict social distancing in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic must recognise that preserving people’s health is as important as reviving the economy, argue an international team of researchers. Continue reading

Clinical Research Collaboration on Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia

06.07.2020 – The BEAT-PCD (Better Experimental Approaches to Treat Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia) Clinical Research Collaboration (CRC) is one of the three new CRCs funded in 2020 by the European Respiratory Society (ERS) after a successful application of Dr Amelia Shoemark from the University of Dundee and Dr Myrofora Goutaki from ISPM Bern. It is a pan-European network of clinicians and scientists committed to promoting clinical, translational research and education in Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD). Continue reading

ISPM represented on Medicus Mundi Switzerland Executive Board

25.06.2020 – Per von Groote from the HIV, Hepatitis and Tuberculosis research group was elected to the Executive Board of the Medicus Mundi Switzerland. Continue reading

New searchable living evidence in COVID-19 Open Access project

17.06.2020 – Overwhelmed by 300+ new articles per day on COVID-19? Are you doing a systematic review? Our living evidence resources are getting better all the time. Now you can search the COVID-19 Open Access project and download your results. Follow us on Twitter @evidencelive. Continue reading

COVID-19 infections in people with Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia: an online patient-initiated study

03.06.2020 – Support organizations for people with Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD) from all over the world collaborate with the University of Bern for a new study on COVID-19 infections in people with PCD. The study is led by Claudia Kuehni from ISPM Bern and is now open for participation. It is an online-based questionnaire study to investigate incidence and disease course of COVID-19 in people with a rare chronic lung disease, PCD. Questionnaires are currently available in German and English. Continue reading

Online event: Gender Equality, Power and Participation during a Pandemic Crisis

25.05.2020 – The current coronavirus outbreak risks to have higher economic and social impacts for women by slowing down efforts to address gender inequality across the world. Continue reading

Dynamic measures against the coronavirus examined

20.05.2020 – An alternating cycle of suppression interventions and relaxation could offer a pragmatic strategy - particularly for developing countries - to prevent health systems from being overloaded while reducing the economical and societal burden. This is illustrated in an international study with significant participation by the Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM). Continue reading

The geography of childhood cancer in Switzerland

18.05.2020 – Researchers from the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Bern investigated the spatial distribution of childhood cancer risks in Switzerland for the period 1985-2015. They found evidence of increased risks in certain areas, particularly for brain tumors. The researchers conclude that the search for the causes of brain tumors in children be intensified. Continue reading

Specially Designed Footwear Reduces Pain of Knee Osteoarthritis

15.05.2020 – First randomized clinical trial introduces new approach for treating the disease. Wearing shoes specifically designed with a novel sole (biomechanical footwear) significantly reduces the pain associated with knee osteoarthritis. Continue reading

EU support for research to reduce the impact of coronavirus

17.04.2020 – As part of a European consortium, researchers from the University of Bern are investigating the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, how dangerous it is and what measures are effective in containing the pandemic. The EU research framework programme «Horizon 2020» is supporting the consortium's EpiPose project with a total of three million euros. Continue reading

COVID-19: The forgotten priorities of the pandemic

15.04.2020 – Researchers from the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) in Bern, Switzerland and Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia, highlight four key aspects that currently might not be in the top list of priorities regarding the pandemic of COVID-19 but that need special attention: side effects of social distancing and isolation, misinformation, attention to specific vulnerable populations and individuals’ wellbeing. Continue reading

Swiss National COVID-19 Task Force

03.04.2020 – Coronavirus: The federal government has set up a scientific advisory board, chaired by Prof. Matthias Egger, President of the National Research Council of the SNSF and research group head at ISPM. Continue reading

Sex-disaggregation of epi data to better understand the epidemic

03.04.2020 – CNN reports that men appear to be at much higher risk of dying of COVID-19. Why do more men seem to be dying from the novel coronavirus than women? Different rates of smoking, drinking, and general poor health could be involved in the disparity. Continue reading

ESTHER Alliance for Global Health Partnerships: Webinars about COVID-19

23.03.2020 – Every Friday at 1:00 pm, GMT, the ESTHER Alliance for Global Health Partnerships organizes a webinar about COVID-19. This series of webinars hosts Global Health experts from different parts of the world to discuss aspects of COVID-19. The webinars are being prepared on behalf of ESTHER Alliance for Global Health Partnerships, ESTHER Ireland and Irish Global Health Network. Continue reading

ISPM researchers granted CHF 500'000

20.03.2020 – ISPM researchers granted CHF 500'000 for understanding the role of noncaloric sweeteners on microbiome and cardiometabolic risk in women undergoing menopause. Professor Oscar Franco, Director of ISPM and Dr. Taulant Muka, leader of the Cardiometabolic Research Group at ISPM, were awarded a «Spirit Grant» by the Swiss National Science Foundation to run a 3-year joint project with Dr. Amin Salehi-Abargouei, associate professor of nutritional sciences at Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences in Iran. Continue reading

Coronavirus: Colombia, a tres semanas de Italia. Todavía hay tiempo de actuar!!

18.03.2020 – Berna, Bogotá y Medellín, 18 de marzo de 2020. Epidemiólogos colombianos del Instituto de Medicina Social y Preventiva (ISPM) de la Universidad de Berna, en Suiza, de la Universidad de Antioquia, de la Fundación Universitaria de Ciencias de la Salud (FUCS) y de la Universidad Javeriana de Bogotá, liderados por el Director del ISPM, el Profesor Oscar Franco utilizan los más recientes métodos matemáticos disponibles para predecir el curso del COVID-19 en Colombia. Continue reading

Fogarty-IeDEA Mentorship Program (FIMP)

18.02.2020 – In collaboration with the Fogarty International Center (FIC) of the US National Institutes of Health, six International Epidemiology Databases to Evaluate AIDS (IeDEA)  regions working in low- and middle-income countries have created the Fogarty-IeDEA Mentorship Program. ISPM will be host to FIMP mentees for the IeDEA Southern African region. Continue reading

Daily exposure to ozone pollution associated to increased risk of death

11.02.2020 – An international study confirms the link between daily exposure to ground level ozone and mortality risk worldwide. This new study published in The BMJ represents the largest investigation of its kind, assessing almost 50 million deaths from over 400 cities in 20 countries across the world, in which Switzerland is included. Continue reading

Coronavirus outbreak in China

24.01.2020 – ISPM researchers used computer simulations to analyze the early transmission pattern of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in Wuhan, China. The findings indicate the potential for sustained human-to-human transmission. Continue reading

Healthy habits extend our lives

10.01.2020 – Healthy habits extend our lives.  People with five healthy habits—persons who never smoke, have a normal body weight, a healthy diet, and low alcohol consumption, and who exercise regularly—live longer. And as a study by an international team of researchers from the US, China, the Netherlands, and Switzerland that was just published in BMJ shows, they also live better. Continue reading

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