The University of Ljubljana is keeping up with the changes and demands of events associated with the coronavirus. We have prepared an overview of the University of Ljubljana activities related to COVID-19. Below you can find list of activities, programmes and projects being conducted by the students and staff at the University of Ljubljana that might directly or indirectly help in this situation. We wish you to stay safe and healthy.
1. University of Ljubljana ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS AND DESIGN
- Charity auction: Danaja Padovac, a restoration student at the Ljubljana Academy of Fine Arts and Design, has drawn a portrait of Luka Dončić, which the Slovenian Friends of Youth Association will sell at a charity auction. The funs raised will be allocated for children in need, whose situation has now been further aggravated. The auction runs until 8 April 2020. For more information, see here.
- Coronavirus posters: Students at the Ljubljana Academy of Fine Arts and Design have responded in large numbers to the TAM-TAM Institute’s open call for designing a “coronavirus” city poster as part of its Plaktivat project. The aim of this campaign is to inspire responsibility, solidarity and humanity in individuals in the battle against the epidemic. The designs submitted so far are shown here.
2. University of Ljubljana FACULTY OF ARTS
- Social Contract in the 21st Century: Within the programme group Social Contract in the 21st Century the following research is being conducted: research on the social effects of the current pandemic on the understanding of the concept of solidarity, transnationalism and the value of scientific information; researching a redefinition of the significance of an individual country and its relationship with the international community in facing the pandemic; media reporting on the pandemic; media consumption during the period of quarantine. Head: Prof. Dr Ksenija Vidmar Horvat.
- Helpful posts for school practitioners: A special platform is taking shape on the website of the Ljubljana Faculty of Arts Department of Education and Adult Education, which is regularly updated with posts or articles written by the department staff and can be used by school practitioners (teachers, school counsellors, preschool teachers, etc.) to reflect on their work in the new circumstances.
- Intercultural study on psychological coping with the coronavirus pandemic: Department of Psychology invites individuals to participate in an intercultural survey on psychological coping with the coronavirus pandemic. The survey is currently being conducted in Spain, German, Italy, Nigeria, the UK, the US, Canada, Poland, Hungary and many other countries. If you wish to participate, click here.
- Department of Psychology publishes numerous professional and scientific articles, personal reflections, infographics that can help employees to work in new working conditions. Students of psychology and young psychologists from the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana and Maribor jointly prepared the project Psychosocial Support for Coronavirus.
- E-books: University of Ljubljana Faculty of Arts Scientific publishing house continues to publish books and magazines. Electronic versions of books and magazines are published here.
- Experience, ethnograpyh and reflections of everyday life during the epidemic.
- Impressions of the epidemic.
3. University of Ljubljana FACULTY OF CHEMISTRY AND CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY
- Organic chemistry: synthesis, structure and application: They are studying the possibility of deactivating viruses (including COVID-19) using solvents of hydrogen peroxide in varying concentrations and in combination with peroxyacetic acid, and the possibility of decontaminating protective equipment with such solvents for reuse. Hydrogen peroxide has been shown to be effective against a wide range of viruses, bacteria, yeast and bacterial spores, by destroying their surface, cell walls and intracellular structure. For this reason they are also studying the possibility of decontaminating hazardous biological waste prior to destruction and decontaminating infected interior and exterior (public) surfaces with these agents that they are developing. Work is being conducted as part of the Creativity to Knowledge project “Antimicrobial agents based on active oxygen” in cooperation with Belinka Perkemija and the project RRI 2 (Ministry of Economic Development and Technology) “Process laboratory equipment”. Head: Prof. Dr Janez Košmrlj.
4. University of Ljubljana FACULTY OF CIVIL AND GEODETIC ENGINEERING
- Observing the Earth and geoinformatics: Analysis of the effect of the pandemic on air quality. Using Sentinel-5P satellite images the researchers are observing changes in air quality resulting from the reduction in transport, manufacturing and so forth, and are comparing them with local authority measures. They are also analysing the accessibility of selected services and determining the capacities of urban green spaces during the epidemic. Through spatial analysis they will study access to services and assess the number of people that can gather in selected urban parks while abiding by the recommendations of scientists and the measures in place. Within the programme group they can also as needed prepare various thematic cartographic displays that go beyond the core topic (depending on access to spatially defined data that are available). Head: Prof. Dr Krištof Oštir.
5. University of Ljubljana FACULTY OF COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SCIENCE
6. University of Ljubljana FACULTY OF EDUCATION
- The psychosocial counseling team is providing advices for staff and students on how to effectively cope with current circumstances. The team is also available for counseling (more information).
7. University of Ljubljana FACULTY OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING
- Electroporation in biology, biotechnology and medicine: Electroporation enables the introduction of pDNA into cells in vitro in vivo, meaning that it can be used in DNA vaccines. DNA vaccines for COVID-19 (and similar outbreaks of disease) could be successfully introduced into the organism and could protect the population from the spread of this virus. Head: Prof. Dr Damijan Miklavčič.
- Semiconductor electronics: A study is currently being conducted on the feasibility and development of respiration aids for non-critical patients with breathing difficulties and their electronic and IoT support. Head: Prof. Dr Marko Topič.
- PDIH team preapred on-line application »Help in the palm of your hand«. The purpose of the tool is to identify as many free assistance organizations as possible and to connect them with people who need help (e.g. elderly people who are unable to go to the grocery store alone, parents who do not have childcare etc.).
- Manual for remote work.
8. University of Ljubljana FACULTY OF HEALTH SCIENCES
- Mechanisms of protecting health: This programme involves researching the vesiculation of membranes, which is the fundamental mechanism for the formation of a virus (theoretically and experimentally), addressing the nutritional aspects of virus transfer, the interaction of membrane structures that include viruses with differing surfaces, and the effect of various substances containing the virus on their surroundings. Dealing with the issue of the pandemic also includes: researching activities that maintain the health of the population (e.g. researching the supply of vitamin D – formulation of guidelines), especially older people who are most at risk in the pandemic; maintaining physical readiness using advanced technologies (smart phones and apps) for monitoring the amount of physical activity or for preventing its decline below the critical threshold of 150 minutes a week in conditions of self-isolation and quarantine; drawing up instructions and physical activity logs. Part of the research is devoted to studying the preparation of self-cleaning surfaces using photocatalytic coatings based on TiO2. For the requirements of water purification they are researching the reactions of disinfecting water using various photocatalytic materials and disinfectants. Head: Assoc. Prof. Dr Tjaša Griessler Bulc.
- Students voluntary assist at the Red Cross and the University Medical Centre Ljubljana.
9. University of Ljubljana FACULTY OF MARITIME STUDIES AND TRANSPORT
10. University of Ljubljana FACULTY OF MATHEMATICS AND PHYSICS
- Prof. Andrej Bauer developed Social distancing simulator which allows interactively explore the effects of social distancing on the spread of any contagious disease. The simulator is a part of the platform CORONAVIRUS WATCH which was developed by the International Research Centre on Artificial Intelligence (IRCAI) under the auspices of UNESCO which is located in Slovenia. The appplication allows access to data for monitoring worldwide emerging trends related to Covid-19 (new cases, growth, recover, deaths). University of Ljubljana FACULTY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
- Transient two-phase flows: Micron-thick droplet jets are produced by micro-nozzles that allow the simultaneous flow of several different liquids and focusing gas. The jet carries randomly directed protein crystals into the field of interaction with X rays for a method known as serial femtosecond crystallography. In collaboration with a group headed by Dr Saša Bajt of Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron (DESY), Hamburg, Germany, the project is developing numerical models and projecting new methods of creating the described micro-jets. DESY is planning the femtosecond crystallography of the COVID-19 virus, which will contribute to understanding the structure of the virus and development of vaccines. Appropriate micro-nozzles are vitally important in this. Head: Prof. Dr Božidar Šarler.
- Innovative manufacturing systems and processes: Research is focused on the production of an efficient and simple ventilator. Head: Prof. Dr Niko Herakovič.
- Proposals for combating the new coronavirus in several areas, such as infection detection, infection protection and medical devices for the infected people (more information in Slovene).
11. University of Ljubljana FACULTY OF MEDICINE
- Relationships of parasitic existence: The research programme involves: diagnostics for SARS CoV-2 (700 samples per day) and implementation of the latest molecular diagnostic procedures; an attempt to isolate the virus in cell cultures, which is a precondition for testing anti-viral agents and vaccines, and a study of the COVID-19 pathogenesis; obtaining complete virus genomes from Slovenian patients (NGS technology), which are important in the global database for determining genetic changes of the virus in space and time; in clinical samples of COVID-19 patients, the viral load is being monitored for the purpose of studying the viral pathogenesis and the success of treating COVID-19 patients; implementation of serological methods that are necessary for further epidemiological research and in-depth understanding of the pandemic. Head: Acad. Prof. Dr Tatjana Avšič Županc.
- Research in the field of public health: Part of the programme, which is aimed at .researching contagious diseases, is tied directly to resolving issues we are facing during the COVID-19 epidemic. Other parts of the programme are strongly linked to the challenges associated with COVID-19, especially the appropriate organisation of the healthcare service and family medicine, and partly also mental health. The programme in itself could not foresee the specific challenges Slovenia is now facing with the COVID-19 epidemic. Head: Prof. Dr Igor Švab.
- Functional genomics and biotechnology for health: They are collaborating with clinical partners in Slovenia and Italy in the area of epidemiological studies between the concentration of blood cholesterol and the COVID-19 disease in patients with liver diseases, including liver cancer and other kinds of cancer, which they are researching within a programme group (stomach cancer, breast cancer, etc.). The first Chinese studies show that COVID-19 patients have reduced blood cholesterol. They are establishing procedures for sequencing virus RNA using Nanopore-minion technology. Head: Prof. Dr Damjana Rozman.
- Telemedicine platform Telekom Slovenia: Doctors and nurses can monitor the condition of the patients with covid-19 at their homes at any times (medical staff and other patients have significantly less exposed to the risk of infection). More information in Slovene (Partners: University Medical Centre Ljubljana, University Clinic Golnik, University of Ljubljana Faculty of Medicine, National Institute of Publich Health, Association of Senior’s Associations Slovenia, Anton Trstenjak Institute, Trebnje Health Centre.
- Students provides to the residents reliable information about the epidemy in Slovenia and phone counceling about coronavirus by phone in the Government call center and voluntary assist at the Red Cross and the University Medical Centre Ljubljana.
12. University of Ljubljana FACULTY OF NATURAL SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING
- Preparation of the instructions for sewing reusable cotton masks. Because masks are now obligatory in all closed public spaces, anyone can make their own using these instructions. You can find more information on the effectiveness of homemade masks and how to wash them here.
- Advising companies in the manufacture of protective equipment.
13. University of Ljubljana FACULTY OF PHARMACY
- Pharmaceutical Biotechnology: science for health: Within the programme group these researchers are formulating various inhibitors of cysteine peptidases such as the COVID-19 virus peptidase. The already registered antibiotic nitroxoline, which has been determined to be an effective inhibitor of cysteine peptidases, could be effective against the virus peptidase. To date it has been shown to be safe in the treatment of bacterial infections. The researchers have also developed various lectins that demonstrate anti-viral efficacy, systems for analysing RNA, for finding epitopes (including viral) using the phage dispay method and cellular and fauna models for studying the functioning of immune cells. Head: Prof. Dr Janko Kos.
- Establishment of Working Group to monitor Covid-19 drug developments. Working Group will prepare notifications based on independent, scientific and clinical results and provide it to the lay and professional public. In this way, they will try to contribute to better information and, above all, to more effective therapy (more information in Slovene).
- Students provide help at the drugstores.
14. University of Ljubljana FACULTY OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
- Faculty has launched a special page entitled Pomaga(j)mo (Help) on its website. It offers advice, recommendations and words of encouragement; for example it provides information on where to find help in times of distress, along with all the available electronic channels we can use while we #stayathome.
15. University of Ljubljana FACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
- Slovenian public opinion: The online survey during the epidemic of adult inhabitants of Slovenia (a probability sample based on the population register) includes a set of questions covering the following content: facts regarding contact with the COVID-19 disease, feelings of threat and anxiety, difficulties during the epidemic, attitudes to measures associated with the epidemic, taking steps and changing everyday habits, the level of information, what is happening with social contacts and social support networks, views on the causes of the epidemic and regarding its future development. Key research objectives: ascertain the response of the public in a crisis situation and the mechanisms that balance these responses; determine whether and how such crisis impacts the views, values and behaviour of inhabitants and which groups are most affected. Head: Assoc. Prof. Mitja Hafner Fink.
- Regularly posts social-science thought about the current situation.
- Video entitled “Fear about unkown” (more information in Slovene).
- Establishment of the safe point Safe.si – information about risks of social media (safe and responsible use of the internet and mobile devices).
- Blog #Stayathome. Migration, Refugees and COVID-19.
16. University of Ljubljana VETERINARY FACULTY
- Monitoring the potential role of animals in the transmission of coronavirus. For now, the transmission has not yet been confirmed, but it is not yet completely excluded. They are also available for questions about coronavirus and animals by e-mail.
17. University of Ljubljana SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS
18. University of Ljubljana FACULTY OF THEOLOGY
19. University of Ljubljana CAREER CENTRES
20. FREE ON-LINE EVENTS
21. ART AND CULTURE
- Joint reading: Student section of the Slavic Society of Slovenia prepared link where readers can anonymously share the literature that have read during the time of self-isolation and they can add a quote, a shorter passage that they liked etc.
- A remembrance day for Dante Alighieri, 25 March 2020: Students of the University of Ljubljana Faculty of Arts took part in remembering a Poet by reading first 27 verses of the Divine Comedy. Video is avalible at this link.
22. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
- University of Ljubljana Faculty of Sport: Preparation of exercise advices – with partners (more information in Slovene / videopresentations).
- University of Ljubljana Center for Extracurricular activities posts workouts and suggestions on how to spend time actively.
- University of Ljubljana School of Economics and Business organises on-line exercises every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11:00 a.m.
23. DISTANCE LEARNING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF LJUBLJANA
- The University of Ljubljana will perform distance learning until the cancellation of an emergency situation. Students are receiving literature and assignments via emails and are involved in lectures via video conference systems. Participation in e-lectures is good. Students are satisfied with distance learning, especially with the possibility of interactive participation and later viewing of lectures.
- University of Ljubljana Faculty of Electrical Engineering provides assistance at distance learning to secondary electrical engineering schools.
- Technical and didactic support for didactic use of ICT within the project “Digital UL” (to all UL members and higher education teachers).
24. THE SLOVENIAN RESEARCH AGENCY (ARRS) has compiled an overview of research work that can contribute directly or indirectly to greater success in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
25. SEARCH FOR A CURE AGAINST CORONAVIRUS: Slovenian researchers have set up a joint open science project involving researchers from several universities, including the University of Maribor, the private sector (Intelli-Mol) and the Central Technical Library of the University of Ljubljana to fight against coronavirus. The group has prepared a project where the general public can participate in the fight against coronavirus. The purpose of the project is to analyze molecular compounds and assist in the search for a cure. Analyzing and finding the right molecular compound can be done on the invidivual computer with download of the programme.
26. CONSORTIUM AGAINST CORONAVIRUS: Formation of the consortium against coronavirus with Slovene and international parners that will participate in the development of drugs and diagnosticians to overcome coronavirus infections (application to Horizon 2020 - acronym FAC - Fight Against Corona!). Lead partner: Educell (biotech company), Slovene partners: National Institute of Biology, University of Ljubljana Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana Faculty of Medicine, Omega. International partners – two university hospitals from Italy and Germany, companits from Italy, Switzerland, Israel, India, UK, Germany and the US.
27. CALL FOR NON-REFUNDABLE GRANT: The Student Tolar Foundation has issued a call for non-refundable grant for fifty students. Application deadline: 16. 4.2020. More information in Slovene