The Brain Research and Integrative Neuroscience Network for COVID-19 (BRAINN)
The Brain Research and Integrative Neuroscience Network for COVID-19 (BRAINN) will advance the research and innovation capacity of the University of Cyprus (UCY) as indicated in the ‘Widening Participation & Strengthening the ERA’ Work Programme, by twinning with three advanced partners in brain research, Maastricht University (UM), King’s College London (KCL), and Ghent University (UGent). Through networking activities, training and coordinated actions, BRAINN will develop an innovative applied neuroscience approach to characterise the effects of COVID-19 on brain health and to elevate the standards of assessment, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of patients with mental health and cognitive problems due to COVID-19. The UM, KCL and UGent teams have complementary world-renowned expertise in neuroimaging, non-invasive neurostimulation and digitalised assessment methods, extensive research management experience and active interest in post-COVID research. Engaging these teams as partners will provide the required mentoring and training towards a focused and systematic approach to neuroscience research in a mutually beneficial manner to raise the research profile of UCY, as well as strengthen the research management and administrative skills of UCY staff. BRAINN will benefit all partners, as the standardisation of assessment and treatment protocols will expedite data collection and will safeguard the sustainability and future expansion of the network. Through interdisciplinary research and development of novel methods and technologies, BRAINN will contribute to personalised treatments, bringing both UCY and Cyprus to the scientific forefront. Additionally, BRAINN will address the brain drain challenge that has increased in Cyprus over the recent years and contribute to the reduction in the burden created by COVID-19. The knowledge and methodologies produced will extend beyond BRAINN, since they will be applicable to other conditions affecting brain health, even when COVID-19 is eradicated.