Italy-Moldova project to strengthen responses to COVID-19 and other epidemics

Monday, 1 February 2021, the cooperation project between ICGEB, Trieste and NICOLAE TESTEMITANU SUMPH, Chişinău: “Strengthening epidemiological surveillance capacity to address COVID-19 and other epidemics” commences.

Thanks to the support of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Autonomous Region, Italy (Regional Law 19/2000 on development cooperation and international partnership), the ICGEB Molecular Virology Group, ICGEB Trieste, and the Nicolae Testemitanu State University of Medicine and Pharmacy of the Republic of Moldova (SUMPh) will work together to enhance the Moldovan research capacities in the fight against COVID-19 and contribute to the establishment of a permanent infrastructure for the surveillance of coronaviruses and other human viruses.

“The project will allow Moldovan researchers to acquire new skills in the field of molecular virology and to specifically study the molecular evolution of SARS-Cov-2 circulating in Moldova through advanced professional training activities and reciprocal visits, says Alessandro Marcello, Group Leader of the Molecular Virology laboratory at ICGEB in Trieste.

Partners will exchange protocols and materials and conduct joint experiments and analysis on Moldovan virus isolates”, adds Stanislav Groppa, Vice-Rector for Research at Nicolae Testemitanu SUMPh, in Chişinău. “Moldova has been an ICGEB Member State since 2019 and signed a technology transfer agreement for the development of a biosimilar product (growth hormone) with the ICGEB Trieste Biotechnology Development Laboratory in the same year. This new project will consolidate the cooperation between the two partners’ scientific teams to tackle the challenge of coronavirus.”

This will complement, in a synergistic manner, the wide range of technical assistance activities offered by the ICGEB to its Member States since the outbreak of the pandemic and promoted through its free, online platform at

Together, ICGEB and Nicolae Testemmitanu SUMPh will contribute to improve research in the areas of infectious diseases and health surveillance systems and create the foundations for evidence-based decisions of Moldovan authorities and policy-makers in this area.

Press release