NEWS AND EVENTS
28.11.2023: Certification and conclusion of the 8 weeks workshop on Harmonization and Standardization of Protocols for Molecular Diagnostics and Serological Analysis of Viral Hepatitis E
The two-month workshop on the harmonisation and standardisation of SOPs for hepatitis E virus diagnosis was concluded with the presentation of the final certificates by the Director of the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Prof. Peter G. Kremsner, to the participants representing G-WAC, CAIDERA, GLACIER and PACE-UP.
20.-23.11.2023: European Congress of Tropical Medicine and International Health (ECTMIH), Utrecht (Netherlands)
At the European Congress of Tropical Medicine and International Health (ECTMIH) in Utrecht, Netherlands, our PhD students Dr. Do Duc Anh MD, and Mr. Huy Loc Do, M.Sc presented their first results.
15.-16.11.2023: ‘Towards ending epidemics in Vietnam’, ANRS-France (Hanoi)
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tong Van Hoang represented PACE-UP and gave a presentation on viral hepatitis E: ONE HEALTH at the event ‘Towards ending epidemics in Vietnam’ organised by ANRS- France (Emerging Infectious Diseases) in Vietnam at Hai Phong University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Vietnam.
13.11.2023: DAAD Global Health Centers – Joint discussions at the University of Tübingen, Germany
Representatives from all four global centers (G-WAC, GLACIER, CAIDERA, PACE-UP) participated in the joint discussions at the University of Tübingen on a joint HEV project, together with the participants of the practical training workshop in viral hepatitis E diagnostics from all four global centers.
04.11.2023: EDCTP Scientific Advisory commitee (SAC) meeting
Prof. Francine Ntoumi, Coordinator of the EDCTP-Central African Clinical Research Network (CANTAM), as well as the Coordinator of PACE-UP and Deputy Project Coordinator for Europe-CANTAM, Prof. Velavan, and the Director of CERMEL and Deputy Project Coordinator for CANTAM Gabon, Prof. Adegnika, attended the EDCTP Scientific Advisory commitee (SAC) meeting and explained the progress of CANTAM-III with the members of the EDCTP-SAC and with Dr. Michael Makanga, Executive Director of EDCTP.
31. October 2023: The workshop on harmonisation and standardisation of SOPs for hepatitis E viral hepatitis diagnosis, Tübingen
The workshop on harmonisation and standardisation of SOPs for hepatitis E viral hepatitis diagnosis is in full swing with practical training with participants representing G-WAC, CAIDERA, GLACIER and PACE-UP.
31.10.2023: Network meeting between PACE-UP and the University of Malaya, Malaysia and St. Georges University of London, UK
The network meeting between PACE-UP and the University of Malaya, Malaysia and St. Georges University of London, UK for joint collaborations and projects of mutual interest and in preparation of Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with PACE-UP has been discussed.
23.10.2023: Workshop on Harmonization and Standardization of Protocols for Molecular Diagnostics and Serological Analysis of Viral Hepatitis E, Tübingen
With the participation of all four global health centers (G-WAC, CAIDERA, GLACIER, and PACE-UP), the 8 weeks Workshop on Harmonization and Standardization of Protocols for Molecular Diagnostics and Serological Analysis of Viral Hepatitis E was started.
18.10.2023: BAYER Foundation Sounding Board Meeting at BAYER AG, Berlin
PACE-UP and the AVH-Bayer funded Center for emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases (CERID), Nigeria, participated in the BAYER Foundation Sounding Board Meeting at BAYER AG Berlin campus to discuss the progress and ongoing activities as well as the perspectives of CERID with all stakeholders.
15.-17.10.2023: PhD retreat of the Global Health Centres during the WHS, Berlin
PhD fellows of CAIDERA, GLACIER, G-WAC and PACE-UP participated at the PhD retreat in the framework of the World Health Summit (WHS) in Berlin. Young scientists have been given a great possibility to present their research work to the participants of the WHS.
On October 16, a workshop took place at the DAAD office in Berlin. The students got to know each other’s research better and explored ways for future collaborations. Also, in small groups students discussed and evaluated their involvment into the projects (Mid-term evaluation).
05.10.2023: PACE-UP master student Nguyen Phuong Anh (USTH) presented her final report on the master thesis
PACE-UP master student Nguyen Phuong Anh from the University of Science and Technology Hanoi (USTH) presented her final report on the master thesis, which was supervised by Dr. Nhat Truong My and Dr. Nguyen Trong The, as scientific advisor. She received the certificate of completion.
04.10.2023: A/Prof. Dr. Le Huu Song is officially appointmened as Director of 108 MCH, Hanoi
The PACE-UP Consortium congratulates A/Prof. Dr. Le Huu Song MD, PhD, a DAAD Alumnus and Alumnus of the University of Tübingen on his official appointment as Director of 108 Military Central Hospital, Hanoi, Vietnam.
02.10.2023: Visit from the US CDC in Vietnam to VG-CARE/PACE-UP and 108 MCH, Hanoi
Ms. Asia Nguyen, Chief of the Division of Health Systems Strengthening at the US CDC in Vietnam, visited VG-CARE. Asia Nguyen explained the concept of the Community Advisory Board, which aims to bridge the gap between health facilities and communities. Ms. Nguyen offered her support in building capacity for PACE-UP activities and engaging communities through her vast experience.
29.09.2023: Networking with VinUni, Hanoi. Invitation to the College of Health Sciences.
The recent German alumni event organized by DAAD in Hanoi in May 2023 gave visibility to PACE-UP’s activities and led to networking with VinUni, Hanoi, a private and non-profit university established by the private company Vingroup in March 2018.
The PACE-UP team, represented by Dr. Nguyen Trong The, Dr. Nhat Truong My, and Prof. Velavan, was invited to the College of Health Sciences for extensive discussions, represented by the Dean and Associate Dean, Assoc.Prof. Le Cu Linh, and Andrew Taylor, Prof. of Microbiology and Immunology, of the College of Health Sciences.
VinUni has expressed its interest in becoming a consortium member of PACE-UP, which will be formalized through a memorandum of understanding before the next phase of PACE-UP. Meanwhile, the exchange of VinUni students for the Master’s module in 2024 has been agreed upon, and VinUni has agreed to host a DAAD alumni event planned under PACE-UP for 2025.
27.09.2023: Invitation to the ‘One Health Scientific Day’ in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Prof. Velavan from PACE-UP and Dr. Nhat My Truong, group leader at VG-CARE, were invited to the ‘ONE HEALTH SCIENTIFIC DAY: Integrating Plant, Soil and Environmental Health into the One Health Strategy’ in Vietnam, by CIRAD (French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development).
23.09.2023: Dr. rer.nat Kartika Senjarini (UNEJ) is officially appointed as Full Professor of Molecular Biology at the UNEJ, Indonesia.
September 23, 2023: The PACE-UP Consortium congratulates Dr. rer.nat Kartika Senjarini, a DAAD Alumnus, on her official appointment as Full Professor of Molecular Biology at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Jember, Indonesia.
12.09.2023: 5th International Conference on Life Sciences of Biothechnology (ICOLIB), University of Member, Indonesia
Prof. Velavan was invited to speak at the 5th International Conference on Life Sciences of Biothechnology (ICOLIB) hosted by the University of Jember, Indonesia. Prof. Velavan presented his recent work on ‘Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus-a 10-year (2012-2022) global analysis’.
05-07.09.2023: Infectious Diseases Symposium, hosted by Bar-Ilan University, Tel Aviv
Prof Velavan, representing PACE-UP, and Prof Nguyen Vu Trung, Director of the Pasteur Institute of the Vietnamese Ministry of Health, were invited to speak on the Infectious Diseases Symposium, hosted by Bar-Ilan University, Tel Aviv, together with the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology. The conference addressed early diagnosis and treatment of intrauterine infections, diagnosis and challenges of flaviviruses, challenges in diagnosing bacterial and viral infections, and detecting the emergence of the next disease X. Prof Velavan gave a presentation on ‘Viral Hepatitis E in Vietnam: ONE HEALTH’ and A/Prof Trung spoke on ‘Managing the diagnosis of flaviviruses in endemic countries: a lesson from Vietnam’.
10.08.2023: Visit of representatives of the University of Jember, Indonesia, to the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Tübingen, Germany
On behalf of the Pan Asean Coalition for Epidemic and Outbreak Preparedness (PACE-UP), Dr. Dr. Carsten Köhler, Head of the Competence Center and the Focus Group “Global Health”of the Institute of Tropical Medicine, welcomed the delegation from the University of Jember, consisting of the Vice Rector for Finance, Prof. Sri Hernawatim, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Ulfa Elvia, the representative of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Public Relations Officer, Endah Puspitasari, and our focal partner for PACE-UP, Dr. Kartika Senjarini from the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Tübingen on August 10, 2023. During the meeting the upcoming PACE-UP workshop and hands-on training on “Emerging and re-merging viral diseases and Basic principles of Biosafety”, which will be hosted by the University of Jember in 2024, was discussed.
11.07.2023: Prof. Dennis Nurjadi (University of Lübeck) presented the results of an ongoing study on antibiotic resistance, Tübingen
Prof. Dennis Nurjadi from the University of Lübeck and expert mentor of the PACE-UP has presented the first results of an ongoing study on antibiotic resistance in resource-limited settings in Vietnam at the colloquium in the Institute of Tropical Medicine, University of Tübingen, Germany.
07.07.2023: Visit from representatives of the University Hospital Erlangen, Germany to VG-CARE, Hanoi
Dr. Michael Aigner, group leader of the research group on T cell Therapy at the University Hospital Erlangen, has visited VG-CARE to identify potential opportunities for collaboration. Dr. Aigner is working on manufacturing and quality control of CAR T cells under GMP standards.
05.07.2023: Visit from the Regional Medical Doctor from the Federal Foreign Office, Germany to VG-CARE/PACE-UP and 108 MCH, Hanoi
Dr. Sabine Walter, Regional Medical Doctor for Southeast Asia from Federal Foreign Office, Germany visited VG-CARE and the 108 Military Central Hospital (MCH) in Hanoi on July 5, 2023. Dr. Nguyen Trong The, group leader and deputy director of VG-CARE introduced her to the center and PACE-UP activities.
05.07.2023: Prof. Nguyen Linh Toan (VMMU) and Prof. Velavan (PACE-UP) at the Thai Nguyen University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Thai Nguyen
Prof. Nguyen Linh Toan and Prof. Velavan from PACE-UP were invited to Thai Nguyen University of Medicine and Pharmacy on 05 July to discuss university partnerships in the ongoing PACE-UP program at VG-CARE. The Director Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Tien Dung agreed to participate in our PACE-UP activities and proposed the signing of an MOU between VG-CARE, University of Tübingen and Thai Nguyen University of Medicine and Pharmacy.
28.06.2023: Humboldt Research Hub Roundtable, Berlin
PACE-UP, represented by Prof. Velavan and PACE-UP partner Prof. Olusola Ojurongbe from the Bayer- AVH Humboldt Research Hub, representing the Centre for Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases (CERID), Nigeria, were invited to a round table discussion with all Research Hub Heads (Humboldt Research Hubs in Africa) to intensify networking between the individual Research Hubs and the German cooperation partners during the Alexander von Humboldt Annual Meeting in Berlin. A possible joint conference in Africa next year was suggested and a joint virtual meeting of the Research Hub Heads was planned to discuss further details.
16.06.2023: Session on bioinformatics pipeline for the analysis of whole genome sequencing data
Dr. Etienne Loire from Cirad, GREASE Network has given a session to introduce a bioinformatics pipeline for the analysis of whole genome sequencing (WGS) data at VG-CARE, Hanoi. PACE-UP students, researchers and medical staff participated in the interactive session to understand how the pipeline can be used for the detection of antimicrobial resistance genes. A follow up hands-on training is planned to be conducted.
20.05.2023: The Ministry of Defense of Vietnam announces the Certificate of Merit to Prof. Dr. Thiru. P. Velavan
The Ministry of Defense of Vietnam announces the Certificate of Merit to Prof. Dr. Thirumalaisamy P. Velavan of the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen and the co-director of VG-CARE for his outstanding and excellent achievements in scientific collaboration, establishment, and development of the Vietnamese-German Center for Medical Research, 108 Military Central Hospital. The official award ceremony will take place in December 2023
20.05.2023: DAAD Visit to VG-CARE/PACE-UP and 108 MCH, Hanoi
On May 20, 2023 Prof. Dr. Joybrato Mukherjee, President of the DAAD and President of Justus Liebig University Giessen, together with the current head of the DAAD regional office for Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar in Hanoi, Mr Stefan Hase-Bergen, and his successor, Mr Felix Wagenfeld, visited VG-CARE/PACE-UP at the 108 Military Central Hospital (108 MCH) in Hanoi.
Since the foundation of the Vietnamese-German Center for Medical Research, the DAAD has been one of the largest funders of the projects carried out or ongoing at the center, which includes the PACE-UP. In the framework of the meeting, the 108 MCH, the work of VG-CARE and the goals and activities of PACE-UP were presented.
Prof. Mukherjee emphasized that VG-CARE is an excellent example of successful and sustainable scientific cooperation between two countries in the sense of the DAAD funding principles. Mr Stefan Hase-Bergen highlighted that the approach of mutual added value through cooperation between the University of Tübingen and the 108 MCH contributes significantly to the success of VG-CARE and its projects.
On this occasion, the decision of the Ministry of Defense of Vietnam was announced, to award the Certificate of Merit to Prof. Dr. Thiru. P. Velavan, co-founder and co-director of VG-CARE, for his outstanding and excellent achievements in scientific collaboration, establishment, and development of the Vietnamese-German Center for Medical Research.
Related Press Release: 108 MCH
19.-20.05.2023: DAAD Alumni meeting on Sustainability in Higher Education, Hanoi
On May 19, 2023 representatives of the PACE-UP/VG-CARE participated at the DAAD Alumni meeting on Sustainability in Higher Education in Hanoi. The event was aligned with the 20 years anniversary of the DAAD regional office for Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar in Hanoi. Furthermore, the occasion was taken to officially farewell Ms Stefan Hase-Bergen who was in charge of the DAAD office since 2017 and to welcome his successor, Mr Felix Wagenfeld.
The event was inaugurated by his Excellency Dr. Guido Hildner, German Ambassador to Hanoi, Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thien Nhan, Member of the National Assembly HCMC, Former Member of the Politburo, Former Secretary of the Party Committee HCMC, DAAD-Alumnus, and Prof. Dr. Joybrato Mukherjee, President of DAAD, President of Justus Liebig University Giessen.
A number of lecturers on the ‘Sustainability in Higher Education’ was given during the 1,5 days event. Prof. Dr. Velavan was invited to give a lecture together with A/Prof. Dr. Tran Xuan Chuong, a PACE-UP cooperation partner from the Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy, on “Sustainability in Health Education and Research”.
May 18, 2023: Network meeting with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Hanoi, Vietnam
May 18, 2023: A networking meeting was held at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hanoi Office to identify synergies in ongoing activities between CDC and PACE-UP.
Dr. Lindsay Kim, Program Director for Global Health Security (Vietnam) at the CDC, outlined opportunities for collaboration on Event-based Surveillance (EBS) and the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP), laboratory capacity building, and early reporting on disease outbreaks.
Dr. Serena Vinter, Deputy Regional Director of CDC’s Southeast Asia Regional Office, explained CDC’s opportunities to support activities on infection prevention control (IPC) in the ASEAN region through CDC-funded program for ASEAN nationals.
The PACE-UP/VG-CARE team was represented by Dr. Bui Tien Sy, Prof. Dr. Velavan, Ms. Olga Hase-Bergen, and Ms. Ms. Thi Anh Mai Pham. Prof. Velavan presented both centers and their activities in Vietnam and ASEAN region.
May 18, 2023: Network hybrid meeting with the University of Lübeck, Germany
A hybrid meeting between the University of Lübeck (UoL), Germany, and VG-CARE took place. Prof. Dennis Nurjadi (UoL) presented first results on the topic “Molecular epidemiology of colistin and carbapenem resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae in Viet Nam”. This study is part of a collaborative project between the UoL, 108 Military Central Hospital and VG-CARE/PACE-UP in the research area of antimicrobial resistance to investigate resistance, virulence and transmission patterns.
May 12-14, 2023: „Europe Village“ in Hanoi, Vietnam
PACE-UP / VG-CARE members have informed about the center‘s activities during the „Europe Village“ event taking place from May 12 to 14, 2023 in Hanoi. Europe village is an annual event held by the European Union Delegation in Vietnam. 15.000 visitors are expected to visit the event.
The German Embassy together with German organizations, institutes and foundations in Vietnam are representing Germany and collaborative projects between the two countries.
May 3-4, 2023: Second annual Steering Committee Meeting of the Central African clinical research network (CANTAM)
PACE-UP was represented and reported on its activities for 2023 during the Central African clinical research network’s (CANTAM) second annual Steering Committee Meeting (Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Gabon, Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo) from May 3 to 4, 2023.
Prof. Eric Achidi from the University of Buea in Cameroon explained the cooperation with PACE-UP. A full-time PhD student from University of Buea is conducting her PhD study at the University of Tübingen, funded through PACE-UP.
Zambia has reported on the internship of their staff in 2022 within the PACE-UP-Internship program.
Central African Infectious Disease and Epidemics Research Alliance (CAIDERA), another DAAD Global Health Center also presented its activities within CANTAM. CAIDERA shared joint activities with PACE-UP.
April 28-29, 2023: Second International Hepatitis E Symposium in London, UK
PACE-UP PhD student, Dr Le Chi Cao, has successfully presented the project “Surveillance of zoonotic Hepatitis E Virus in domesticated pigs and farmed wild boar in Central Vietnam” at the 2nd International Hepatitis E Symposium in London. The project is implemented as a part of the PACE-UP project and the symposium is a unique opportunity to network with leading scientists with HEV expertises.
April 26-27, 2023: German-Vietnamese Science Day (GVSD) in Da Nang, Vietnam
VG-CARE participated together with the PACE-UP cooperation partners in the GVSD – an event jointly organized by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Germany, and the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) as a bilateral dialogue and networking event between science, industry and policy makers from Germany and Vietnam.
The aim of the GVSD was to discuss, build and to consolidate potential projects between German-Vietnamese cooperation in the fields of science, technology, innovation, and higher education, and to strengthen networking between German and Vietnamese stakeholders to create a strong framework for sustainable German-Vietnamese cooperation.
The event was opened by Mr. Nguyen Van Phan Phuc – Vice Minister of the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), Dr. Luong Van Thang from the Department of International Cooperation, Europe (MoST), Ms. Kathrin Meyer (BMBF) and Dr. Le Nguyen Bao, Rector of Duy Tan University (DTU).
On the first day of the GVSD, April 26, VG-CARE conducted a thematic workshop entitled “UNITY of PURPOSE: Scientific Partnerships for Innovation and Research,” which aimed to build a consortium of multidisciplinary stakeholders from academia, research, industry, and government. The workshop led to the formation of consortia between VG-CARE, DZIF-Germany, VABIOTECH-Vietnam and IDT Biologika-Germany, involving both ministries, to jointly develop an MVA-based vaccine against an emerging infectious disease in the ASEAN region, with the possibility of technology transfer from IDT Biologika-Germany to VABIOTECH-Vietnam to manufacture GMP-compliant vaccines in Vietnam.
On the second day of the event, April 27, the German Ambassador, His Excellency Dr. Guido Hildner, and the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr. Bui The Duy, recognized VG-CARE as a successful bilateral initiative in their introductory talks. This was followed by the presentation of the workshop results and panel discussions with the partners of cross dialogue.
April 25, 2023: PACE-UP together with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and Charité representatives visited the Duy Tan University, Da Nang
VG-CARE/PACE-UP, together with representatives of GIZ and Charité, was invited by Duy Tan University (DTU) in Da Nang to discuss cooperation opportunities. DTU was interested in capacity building through cooperation with German institutions. Prof. Velavan, director of VG-CARE and project coordinator of PACE-UP, as well as visiting professor at DTU’s Faculty of Medicine, pointed out the potential opportunities between the two institutions. PD Dr. Eric Hahn, deputy head of the GIZ hospital partnership program provided insights into potential support for integrating mental health into the university curriculum and through GIZ funding opportunities.
April 24, 2023: Representatives of the German Embassy Hanoi, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) visited the PACE-UP workshops held at Hue University for Pharmacy and Medicine (HUMP).
Representatives of the German delegation of the German-Vietnamese Science Day (GVSD) in Da Nang (April 26-27, 2023) visited the PACE-UP hands-on-training workshop on “Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases and Principles of Biosafety” held at the HUMP campus in Hue, Vietnam.
The BMBF, represented by Ms. Katrin Meyer and Dr. Ulrike Wolters, the German Embassy in Vietnam, represented by Mr. Jörg Kinnen, Ms. Susanne Kammüller from DAAD Headquarters, Ms. Katja Yang from AvH-Asia head and the Rector of HUMP, Prof. Nguyen Vu Quoc Huy, were given an insight into the ongoing practical training. This was followed by a demonstration of the functions and utility of PACE-UP’s BSL-2 mobile laboratory with BSC-III cabinet used for outbreak response and preparedness.
19.-25.04.2023 PACE-UP workshop and course modules in ‘Emerging and re-emerging diseases’ and ‘Hands-on training on Basic principles of Biosafety’, Hue, Vietnam
PACE-UP successfully conducted a workshop with two course modules on “Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases” and ‘Hands-on training on Basic principles of Biosafety’. The workshop on “Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases” was conducted on April 19-21, 2023 and the practical training on biosafety fundamentals took place on April 24-25, 2023 at the Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy (HUMP) in Hue, Vietnam.
The workshop was inaugurated by Prof. Nguyen Vu Quoc Huy, Rector of the Hue University on Medicine and Pharmacy (HUMP), and the co-director of the Vietnamese-German Center for Medical Research (VG-CARE) and Senior Academic councillor at the University of Tübingen, Germany, Prof. Thirumalaisamy P Velavan.
Prof. Huy emphasized the importance of working together to face challenges in preparedness for infectious disease outbreaks. Prof. Velavan highlighted the activities of PACE-UP, a multidisciplinary consortium that supports building and strengthening capacities for pandemic preparedness and prevention, and the importance of collective action in addressing health risks in the region.
The workshop was conducted by international experts from Europe, Africa and Vietnam with deep expertise in the field of emerging and re-emerging diseases. More than 160 participants with postgraduate qualifications (MD, MSc, MPH, PhD), including physicians, veterinarians, entomologists, biomedical scientists, health-care staff and epidemiologists from Vietnamese and Indonesian Universities participated at the course and gained insights on infectious diseases epidemiology and outbreak detection, early management, and infection control mechanisms and shared their knowledge on the various emerging and re-emerging viruses. In addition, 49 registered participants from other global health centers in Central America and West Africa participated online.
Dr. Tran Duc Khanh from the Vietnamese-German University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – PACE-UP partner institution – conducted a lecture on ‘Artificial Intelligence and early warning systems’ demonstrating the potentials for the infectious disease research within a collaborative interdisciplinary approach of PACE-UP.
PACE-UP Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) with Biosafety Cabinet (BSC – III) mobile laboratory was used to train scientists and health-care workers from HUMP in field deployment. The mobile laboratory supports surveillance, diagnostics and early warning of disease outbreaks.
The successful participation in the workshop was solemnly confirmed on April 25th by handing over the certificates.
Related press Release: TRT online
April 18, 2023: Obituary of Prof. Dr. Christian G. Meyer, Expert Mentor and Vice Director of the Vietnamese. German Center for Medical Research (VG-CARE).
The VG-CARE and PACE-UP consortia share the sad news of the death of Prof. Dr. Christian G. Meyer, who passed away in his sleep on the flight from Frankfurt to Hanoi. Prof. Meyer was an extremely wise mentor, a brilliant writer, and a tropical medicine physician with a broad and deep knowledge. As a mentor, Prof. Meyer encouraged and influenced as many medical students and researchers in Asian and African countries with his knowledge and wisdom. Prof. Meyer remained very active for VG-CARE and its activities in Tübingen, especially in Vietnam, and lived for tropical medicine until his death.
Prof. Meyer accomplished much in the field of tropical medicine in Germany during the last 30 years. He was author of more than 200 scientific publications, editor, and sole author of one of the most important German-language textbooks of tropical medicine and editor of the journal “Tropical Medicine and International Health”.
08.-09.03.2023 Networking meeting (South-South) in Antananarivo, Madagascar
PACE-UP had strategic meetings with new stakeholders, the Madagascar Institute of Vaccine Research (MIVR) in Antananarivo, which is collaborating with the PACE-UP collaborator International Vaccine Institute (IVI) in Seoul, Korea. The exchange of African scientists working for the IVI in Madagascar to Germany/Asia for Internship was consolidated. A legal MOU between the institutes within the framework of PACE-UP is envisaged.
The General assembly meeting of the needs to be elaborated (VASA) took place on 08 and 09 March 2023.
23.02.2023 Network online meeting with University of Copenhagen, Denmark
An online meeting between the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and VG-CARE took place on February 23, 2023, to evaluate and to discuss on the possible collaboration between both institutions. Dr. Gildas Hounmanou, University of Copenhagen, presented an I-CRECT sub-project “Onsite hospital sewage treatment to reduce down-flow of CRES”. The project hypothesis states that onsite hospital wastewater treatment will decrease antimicrobial resistance genes levels and the number of multi-drug resistant pathogens entering aquatic recipients and thereby reduce the risk of human exposure and transmission downstream. Based on that the project aims to assess the effectiveness of existing wastewater treatment systems at selected hospitals in reducing discharged AMR pathogens and genes and proposes optimum treatment method(s) providing the best reduction rate as an intervention to scale-up. A possibility of cooperation between the University of Copenhagen, 108 Military Central Hospital and VG-CARE was evaluated and agreed to cooperate.
21.-22.02.2023: Strategic meeting between PACE-UP/VG-CARE and HUMP, Hue
A strategic meeting between the Hue University for Medicine and Pharmacy (HUMP) and PACE-UP/VG-CARE took place in Hue from February 21st to 22nd, 2023. Prof. Dr. Thirumalaisamy P. Velavan and Dr. Nhat My Truong met Prof. Nguyen Vu Quoc Huy, Rector of the university, the Rector Board, the member staff of the International Relation office, of the Institute of Biomedicine and of the Departments of Infectious Diseases, Tuberculosis, Parasitology and Microbiology.
In different sessions the upcoming PACE-UP workshop and hands-on training “Emerging and re-merging viral diseases and Basic principles of Biosafety”, hosted by HUMP from April 18 to 25, 2023, and further plans and activities of the PACE-UP consortia were discussed.
13.-14.02.2023: Project Team Meeting Global Health and Climate Centers 2023, Bonn
PACE-UP participated at the DAAD Project Team Meeting in Bonn. The meeting aimed to get new insights into the activities and topics of the DAAD Global Health and Climate Centers, to gain a deeper understanding of common interests and to identify overlapping areas of interest to collaborate in 2023 and beyond.
29.01.2023: Meeting with Malaysian Minister of Health YB Dr. Zaliha Mustafa and the Director General of Health Tan Sri Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah, London
PACE-UP, represented by Prof. Dr. Velavan, was invited to London for a networking meeting with the Malaysian Minister of Health YB Dr. Zaliha Mustafa and the Director General of Health in Malaysia Tan Sri Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah. The meeting shall contribute to the strengthening of ASEAN-wide capacity in clinical research.
01.-03.12.2022: Training on the mobile laboratory, Hanoi
Dale Parker, the Global Field Service Manager, and the Site Superintendent of Germfree Inc. USA trained the user groups how best to work in a safe working environment and explained the correct operational and management procedures and protocols for the sustainable use of the Sprinter van equipped with a BSL/2 laboratory with BSC III cabinet.
Mechanical and electrical engineers as well as scientists from 108 Military Central Hospital and VG-CARE were trained in all aspects of the fabrication of the mobile van, and the scientists benefited from this laboratory training prior to field deployment.
30.11.2022: Handover ceremony of the PACE-UP mobile laboratory, Hanoi
PACE-UP received a Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) mobile laboratory with Biosafety Level 3 (BSC-III) safety cabinet from DAAD/AA funds. The handover ceremony took place at 108 Military Central Hospital (MCH). The mobile BSL-2/BSC-III laboratory was handed over to Prof. Mai Hong Bang, Director of 108 Military Central Hospital and the directors of VG-CARE by Mr. Simon Kreye, Deputy Head of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and Mr. Stefan Hase-Bergen, Head of the DAAD Regional Office for Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
The BSL-2/BSC-III mobile laboratory will be used for infectious disease research, surveillance and mapping hotspots for emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. It will also be used to train medical staff for use in emergencies or disease outbreaks. The mobile laboratory is equipped with advanced molecular diagnostic instruments including PCR, real-time cyclers, haemocytometers, next generation sequencers, freezers and refrigerators, autoclave and allied instruments for the use of a laboratory.
The mobile lab provides quick access to remote locations and is easy to manoeuvre in urban areas. This compact mobile laboratory can accommodate a small team of staff, allowing them to respond to incidents very quickly and safely. Proximity and speed are critical for early detection of a potential outbreak as part of an effective disease surveillance program. The BSL-2 Sprinter van laboratory is ideal for bringing diagnostic capabilities combined with point-of-care testing to hard-to-reach areas, from urban centres to remote locations.
29.-30.11.2022: PACE-UP Expert seminar on GCP/GCLP, Hanoi
PACE-UP has conducted an international Expert seminar on GCP/GCLP (29.-30.11.2022). The seminar was carried out by Dr. Diane Egger-Adam, from the University of Tübingen, Germany and Dr. Nguyen Trong The shared his working experience on clinical trials in Africa and Vietnam.
More than 20 researchers from Indonesia, Hue (Vietnam) and VG-CARE (Hanoi/Vietnam) were trained / could refresh their knowledge and skills on rights, safety, and well-being of clinical trial subjects. All individuals has taken up a test for receiving the international certification from Global Health Network. The next Expert seminar on GCP/GCLP will be conducted in 2024.
Related press Release: University of Jember
22.09.2022: DAAD Alumni Talk at Goethe-Institute, Hanoi
On 22 September, Dr. Nguyen Trong The and Prof. Dr. Velavan were invited to a DAAD alumni event organised by the DAAD office, the Goethe-Institut and the German Embassy. The Deputy Director of VG-CARE, Dr Nguyen Trong The, gave a lecture on “Dengue Fever” and Prof. Dr. Velavan gave a lecture on “COVID-19: an update”.
Mr. Stefan Hase-Bergen, Head of the DAAD Office, moderated the event. The event was also chaired by Mr. Jörg Kinnen, Head of the Department of Culture, Press and Science of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Related Press Release: DAAD Hanoi
19.-23.09.2022: Workshop “Emerging and Re-emerging Viral Diseases”
PACE-UP organised the workshop “Emerging and Re-emerging Viral Diseases”. The workshop was opened by the German Ambassador, His excellency Dr Guido
Hildner, the Head of the DAAD regional office for Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, Mr. Stefan Hase-Bergen, the vice director of the 108 Military Central Hospital and co-director of VG-CARE, Assoc. Prof. Le Huu Song, and Prof. Thirumalaisamy P Velavan, co-director of VG-CARE and Senior Academic councillor of the University of Tübingen, Germany.
His excellency Dr. Hildner emphasized the importance of the interdisciplinary collaborative scientific work in the area of the infectious diseases such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. The German government attaches great importance to scientific and technological cooperation with Vietnam. Mr. Hase-Bergen indicated VG-CARE as a lighthouse project in the field of scientific cooperation between Germany and Vietnam and indicated the importance of the PACE-UP’ contribution to building up effective capacities and systems to prepare and respond to infectious diseases with epidemic or pandemic potential not only in Vietnam but in whole Asian region and beyond.
The workshop was conducted by international experts from Europe and Vietnam with deep expertise in the field of emerging and re-emerging viruses. More than 45 research-active personnel with postgraduate qualifications (MD, MSc, MPH, PhD), including physicians, veterinarians, entomologists, biomedical scientists, and epidemiologists from Vietnamese and Indonesian Universities participated at the course gaining insights on viral epidemiology and outbreak detection, early management, and infection control mechanisms and extending knowledge on the various emerging and re-emerging viruses. These range from viral mutations to climate change and the effects of urbanization to changes in human behaviour. Additional emphasis was also placed on the global “One Health” concept.
The successful participation in the workshop was solemnly confirmed on September 23rd by handing over the certificates.
Related Press Release: German Embassy Hanoi: German, Vietnamese; German Embassy Hanoi; German embassy Hanoi; German embassy Hanoi; Deutsch-Vietnamesische Gesellschaft; 108 Hospital; Viet Nam News; University of Jember
06.-07.09.2022: International scientific collaboration for tomorrow’s world: Global Centres for Health and Climate, Berlin, Germany
The Federal Foreign Office (AA) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) hosted the inaugural meeting with all stakeholders of the eight interdisciplinary ‘Global Centres’ addressing global health and climate challenges around the world. The Pan ASEAN Coalition for Epidemic and Outbreak Preparedness (PACE-UP), the only global health centre for Asia hosted by VG-CARE, was well represented at this event on international scientific collaboration for tomorrow’s world: Global Centres for Health and Climate, which took place in Berlin on September 6th and 7th, 2022.
VG-CARE reports the first OMRICON SARS-CoV-2 varaint identified in a Vietnamese patient. VG-CARE continues to contribute to genomic surveillance of SARS-C0V-2. VG-CARE has deposited more than 1000 SARS-COV-2 genomes in the global GISAID database.
With the support of ongoing DAAD funded projects, the Vietnamese German Center for Medical Research, together with experts from the University of Tübingen, successfully completed a two week training course on whole-genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 variants using MinIon Nanopore technology. This capacity is being sustained and a number of sequences are currently being deposited in the global databases by VG-CARE and associated partner institutes of the Pan ASEAN Coalition for Epidemic and Outbreak Preparedness (PACE-UP).
The well-established and successful North-South and South-South collaborative networks bring to the PACE-UP a consortium of 28 partner institutions drawn from 5 Asian, 4 European and 11 African countries, with multidisciplinary expertise aimed at strengthening regional and ASEAN-wide capacity to respond rapidly and effectively to infectious diseases with epidemic potential occurring in the region or imported from overseas.