GLACIER – German-Latin American Centre of Infection & Epidemiology Research & Training is a large network encompassing 18 higher education institutions, research institutes and public stakeholders from eight Latin American countries as well as eight higher education institutions from Germany. GLACIER represents the fusion of the Berlin-led pandemiology, and the Halle-led research on immunology and bioactive compounds research. The consortium encompasses Latin American countries and higher education institutions and is synergistic in research and training efforts.
In close partnership with scientific institutions in Mexico, Cuba and Central America, the health centre follows a holistic “One Health” approach. Various disciplines – from virology to vaccine and drug research to social sciences – work together in close cooperation with national and international institutions involved in preventive health care and pandemic control. In total 35 partners in eight countries and five additional expert groups from Germany are involved in the centre.
The GLACIER multidisciplinary consortium aims to strengthen the prevention and treatment of communicable diseases and the development of new vaccines and therapies. It also aims to improve crisis preparedness, response and post-crisis care. GLACIER is operated under the joint leadership of the the Institute of Virology at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Institute of Medical Immunology at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) in association with the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry (IPB). Central partner institutions in Central America are the region’s leading universities, the University of Havana (UH) and the Independent National University of Mexico (UNAM), each of which will host central research and training laboratories. The international and transdisciplinary dimension of pandemic preparedness and response will also be strengthened by 35 partners in a total of 8 Central American countries and five additional expert groups from Germany. GLACIER aims to work towards strengthening capacities in the Latin American region by (i) serving as a think tank supporting a multidisciplinary network of institutions in 8 Central American countries, (ii) helping to build local research capacity, (iii) increasing the number of well-trained experts/scientists and trainers, and (iv) engaging regional and international policy makers, enabling information dissemination and faster regional crisis response.
- Development of a One Health Summer School
- Establishment of real laboratories in Mexico and Cuba
- Doctoral and research residencies and bilateral doctoral programs
- Establishment of a database tool for surveillance and bioactives
- Development of a seminar series on interdisciplinary approaches to the treatment and control of infectious diseases
- Development of teaching modules on anti-infective treatment strategies and bio-social analysis of infectious diseases
Funding: financed by the DAAD with funds from the Federal Foreign Office
The German Academic Exchange Service has launched a programme to fund eight interdisciplinary ‘Global Centres’ to tackle challenges around the world. Four centres will conduct research into climate issues and another four will research and teach on healthcare issues and pandemics. The German Federal Foreign Office is providing funding of some 22 million Euros up to 2025 to help establish these centres. See also the DAAD-image film here.
Consortium members / Project partners
- Institute of Medical Immunology, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
- Charité, Institute of Virology
- Leibniz-Institute of Plant Biochemistry
- Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Bundesforschungsinstitut für Tiergesundheit,
- Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover
- Ulm University Medical Center, Institute of Molecular Virology
- German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA)
- Giessen University, Institute of the History of Medicine
- National Autonomous University of Mexico
- Universidad de la Habana
- Autonomous National University of Nicaragua (UNAN)BioCubaFarma, Cuba
- Distance State University (DSU), Costa Rica
- INCIDE Foundation Innovation Office, Mexico
- Institute Gorgas (IG), Panamá
- Institute of Scientific Research and High Technology Services (INDICASAT), Panamá
- Institute of Technology (IOT), Costa Rica
- Microbiology Laboratory of the National Institute of Cardiology (NIC), Mexico
- National Autonomous University of Honduras
- National University of Costa Rica (NUCR)
- Panama University
- San Carlos University (SCU), Guatemala
- University of Costa Rica (UCR)
- University of El Salvador (UES)
Second annual meeting 27-29. November 2023, Havana, Cuba
Please save the date and stay tuned – details will follow soon!
Open Theme Evening SPC Global Health at the Institute of the History of Medicine at Giessen University
Two Cuban GLACIER colleagues held a presentation on the 1st of December 2022, entitled “Public health and the response to COVID-19 in Cuba” at the Giessen University. Prof. Dr. Enrique Beldarraín is a professor of epidemiology and a medical historian of the Medical University Cuba; Dr. Nuris Herrera is an infectologist of the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine in Havana, Cuba.
First annual meeting – Strengthening capacities to respond, treat and manage emerging diseases in the Latin American region
Date and place: 22-25. November 2022, UNAM, Mexico City
PIs and scientists met at the UNAM in Mexico City for scientific exchange and planning activities. Major topics were teaching and future courses as well networking.
DAAD Conference of Global Centres 6-7. September 2022 Berlin
The two-day event took place place in Berlin. We are convinced that important synergies have been created over the last two days that enable us to tackle global challenges. Have a look at the detailed programme here. Our GLACIER team contributed by organizing one of the workshops during the conference, entitled “Zoonoses / One Health in the context of the global health centres –
more than 3 overlapping circles“. You can download the workshop abstract & agenda here.
GLACIER meeting at the IPB 27. June 2022
PIs and scientists met at the IPB in Halle (Saale) for scientific exchange and planning activities. Major topics were teaching and future courses as well as the upcoming annual meeting in Mexico City.
Photos: Stefanie Bandura (Charité Berlin), IPB
GLACIER meeting at the UNAM 26-29. April 2022
UNAM, with PI Ana Escalante hosted the GLACIER-meeting in Mexico City. Prof. Barbara Seliger (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg), Prof. Ludger Wessjohann (Leibniz-Insitute of Plant Biochemistry Halle), Prof. Felix Drexler and Dr. Andres Moreira-Soto (Charité Berlin) and Dr. Daniel Garcia Rivera (Universidad de La Habana) discussed and planned with UNAM scientists and authoritihies future activities in research&education. On behalf of the participants from Germany we appreciated the time and space for discussion of all the authorities of the UNAM.
The Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba, Ramón Ripoll Díaz, was a guest at the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry (IPB) in Halle on June 7, 2021. The reason for the diplomat’s visit was the recent funding commitment of the DAAD for the establishment of a German-Latin American Health Center for Infection and Pandemic Research. The IPB is the main initiator of this Global Center for Health together with the Institute for Medical Immunology of the University Medicine Halle and the Institute for Virology of the Charité Berlin. Under the name GLACIER (German-Latin American Centre of Infection and Epidemiology Research and Training), the aim is to bundle and accelerate capacities for research and treatment of new infectious diseases in Latin America. Central research and training laboratories will be established in the partner institutions of the universities in Mexico City and Havana. GLACIER will receive funding of 2.8 million euros over the next five years. The sum was provided by the German Federal Foreign Office as part of special funding. Please click here for more details and photos.
Kickoff-meeting 25. August 2021, Charité Berlin
The GLACIER Kickoff took place as a hybrid event. German and Cuban partners met each other at the Charité Berlin together with Latin American partners as online participants. Thank you all for the time and space for discussions pushing forward the GLACIER consortium!
- See the call for an interesting conference in Havana: International Symposium – Biotechnology and Biomedicine: from the University to the Enterprise, 29.05.-02.06. 2023. For details please click here.
- Prof. Ana Escalante, lead-PI at UNAM Mexico visited us in Berlin within the framework of the Berlin Science Week 2022 & Mexican Science Day. She also took time to visit Halle and give a talk at the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry (IPB). Thank you Ana, it was a pleasure to have you here!
Photo: Antje Hellmuth IPB
- Prof. Barbara Seliger and Prof. Ludger Wessjohann from the Halle-team of GLACIER attended the Cuba Salud 2022 International Health Convention. The focus was ont he current challenges facing health systems after the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as how to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
- The meeting “Tumor Immunology meets oncology (TIMO) XVI” took place from July 7 to 9, 2022 in Halle (Saale). Please clik here for the programme. The goal of the 2022 symposium was to present the latest research findings in basic tumor immunology and in the design and implementation of novel innovative immunotherapeutic approaches for the ever-growing community of tumor immunologists and immunotherapists. Our GLACIER grantee, Rocmira Perez Nicado presented her first results produced during her stay at the Institute of Medical Immunology of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, under the supervision of Prof. Barbara Seliger.
Photos: Michael Hötzel DGPh
- The European Union wants to boost production of vaccines and drugs in Latin America by investing more in the region and by sharing technologies and regulatory practices. Read more…
- Interesting contribution on Cuban Corona vaccine development and research (in German), for text and audio please click here.
- Seliger et al. (2022): Induction of pulmonary HLA‑G expression by SARS‑CoV‑2 infection. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 79: 582. DOI: 10.1007/s00018-022-04592-9
- Santana-Mederos et al. (2022): A COVID-19 vaccine candidate composed of the SARS-CoV-2 RBD dimer and Neisseria meningitidis outer membrane vesicles. RSC Chem. Biol. 3: 242–249. DOI: 10.1039/d1cb00200g
Rojas-Jiménez et al. (2022) In vitro characterization of anti-SARS-CoV-2 intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIg) produced from plasma of donors immunized with the BNT162b2 vaccine and its comparison with a similar formulation produced from plasma of COVID-19 convalescent donors. Front. Med. Technol. 3: 772275. DOI: 10.3389/fmedt.2021.772275
Moreira-Soto et al. (2021): High efficacy of therapeutic equine hyperimmune antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Front. Med. (Lausanne) 8: 735853. DOI: 10.3389/fmed.2021.735853
Alape-Girón et al. (2021): Heterologous hyperimmune polyclonal antibodies against SARS-CoV-2: a broad coverage, affordable, and scalable potential immunotherapy for COVID-19. Front. Med. (Lausanne) 8:743325. DOI: 10.3389/fmed.2021.743325