W. Müller, M. Golebiewski, M. Rey, A. Weidemann, U. Wittig, Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, Heidelberg
Service center: de.NBI Systems Biology Service Center – de.NBI-SysBio

NFDI4Health COVID-19 initiative: There are huge initiatives that take on merging clinical information about COVID-19 and worldwide more than 1500 clinical trials are emerging or ongoing around this disease as reported in the WHO, plus numerous epidemiological studies at national or international level. However, it is tedious to find detailed information about the studies and, as far as we know, little attention currently is given to other health data that are important for interpretation, possible treatment and prevention of COVID-19. The German National Research Data Infrastructure for Personal Health Data (NFDI4Health) is a consortium (led by ZBMed) under consideration as part of the broad NFDI initiative, and focuses on epidemiology studies, clinical trials and other public health data. A core team of NFDI4Health consisting of 10 partners has decided to start collaborating early to address urgent needs and bundle public health data, as well as information on clinical trials and epidemiology studies in Germany, facilitating access to the studies and their metadata. Already now we have started using SEEK, the software underlying the FAIRDOMHub and the Leipzig Health Atlas, as a hub platform bundling the study information. De.NBI-SysBio partner HITS as one key contributor of this software and core partner in the COVID-19 initiative of NFDI4Health is therefore helping to improve the FAIRness and cross-record dataset linkage of COVID-19 research data collections in Germany.

Another project initiated by Université de Luxembourg with now more than 160 contributors has the aim of establishing a COVID-19 disease map, an assembly of molecular interaction diagrams based on literature evidence. This will constitute a knowledge repository on virus-host interaction mechanisms specific to the SARS-CoV-2. FAIRDOM and de.NBI-SysBio helps by providing a space within the FAIRDOMHub to share data, resources, best practices, and publications within the community, as well as to present and exchange resulting models that are part of the COVID-19 disease map. In addition, for this effort, the SABIO-RK team  (also de.NBI-SysBio) curates relevant data in order to integrate it into the SABIO-RK reaction kinetics database.

Martin Golebiewski of HITS is also part of the RDA COVID-19 clinical subgroup of the international Research Data Alliance (RDA), working on ad-hoc recommendations, standards and guidelines for data sharing corresponding to COVID-19 to help stakeholders (e.g. epidemiologists and researchers) follow best practices, and for policymakers to maximise timely data sharing and appropriate responses in such health emergencies during the ongoing and future pandemics. The group comprises about 80 scientists from all around the world. The outcomes become more and more important with the increased merging of diverse datasets.


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