Multidisciplinary Center for Infectious Diseases (MCID)

MCID annual event

Thursday 6th July, 08.30 / 09.45- 17.00, UniS

On Thursday 6th July, the MCID will host its annual event, this year focused on the three MCID Core Activities: The BEready Cohort, The BioPreparedness BioBank and the Ethics and Policy Lab. The event will be open to all at the University of Bern / Inselspital and associated institutes and will be free of charge. Registration is now closed. Please contact the MCID Management Office if you have any questions regarding attendance of this event.

Preliminary program

08.30-09.45: Annual assembly of MCID Members / Associate Members (closed to non-MCID Members)

09.45-10.15: Welcome coffee

10.15-12.00: Presentation of the MCID and each of the three MCID Core Activities

12.00-13.00: Networking lunch

13.00-17.00 (including coffee break): Core Activity workshops, followed by a plenary session

Aims of the Core Activity workshops:

  • To allow an introduction to each of the MCID Core Activities and the teams running them
  • To explore possibilities for collaboration / interaction with MCID Core Activities
  • To play a role in shaping of MCID Core Activities

BEready Cohort workshop

“Bern, get ready” (BEready) will be a population-based cohort study of 1,500 households, including adults, children and pets, representing the population of the Canton of Bern. BEready will collect essential longitudinal data to improve knowledge about existing infectious diseases and preparedness for emerging health threats. A pilot study is underway now.    

In this workshop you will meet with BEready researchers with expertise in clinical epidemiology, infectious diseases, veterinary medicine, community engagement and project management. Together with the BEready team and workshop participants from other disciplines you will be able to brainstorm about research questions utilising the BEready cohort platform. In a “match-making” approach you will identify potential collaborators within the group and across the MCID members with common interests and thematic focuses around pandemic preparedness, which could be developed as multidisciplinary applications for the next MCID funding call. 

Ethics and Policy workshop: the social implications of research 

In this workshop, participants discuss the implications of their research for society. The workshop provides a platform for researchers to assess and reflect on the ethical aspects of their research and to understand which research findings are relevant for policymaking.  

The workshop consists, first, of a group work to analyse what stakeholders are affected by participants’ research and to identify their underlying values, norms and interests. After having identified ethical and social challenges, the groups discuss and develop politically realistic solutions to address them. In the second part of the workshop, participants discuss on how to best communicate their research findings and ethical and social implications to policymakers. Read more about the Ethics and Policy Lab here.

BioPreparedness BioBank workshop: Biobanking High-Consequence Pathogens- Challenges and Opportunities for Biopreparedness

In this workshop, the BioPreparedness Biobank team will provide an overview of the risks and challenges associated with biobanking high-consequence pathogens (HCPs), and discuss expectations and best practices for biobanking pathogens for biopreparedness. The team will also explain the possibilities for creating safe-to-work-with pathogens using synthetic genomics. 

Through case studies and group activities, attendees will learn about successful strategies for biobanking high-risk pathogens and brainstorm solutions to overcome challenges associated with handling these pathogens. Participants will be able to share their expectations and brainstorm about the strategic priorities of the biobank as it establishes itself as a key resource for biopreparedness. 

This dynamic workshop will emphasize key aspects of biobanking and practical solutions to overcome challenges associated with handling of high-consequence pathogens. Inputs from the workshop will help to further shape the BioPrepardness biobank to meet the needs and expectations of the MCID community. Read more about the BioPreparedness BioBank here.