Skip to main content

Reducing networking gaps between Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) and internationally - leading counterparts in viral infection-induced autoimmunity research (VirA)

Project/agreement No.
Project funding
899 992.50 EUR, , RSU budget 470 380 EUR
Project realization
01.12.2020. - 30.11.2023.


To promote autoimmune disease research capacity and fill networking gaps in the institution (RSU) of the low-performing Member State – Latvia, by establishing a consortium with leading research institutions from Italy - University of Ferrara, Germany - Ulm University, and Israel - Tel-Aviv University. The partner universities are the excellence centres (world leaders) that are forerunners in immunology, virology, morphology and clinical data management and modelling, and are capable of inspiring positive change in the research field and significantly influence future developments at RSU via joint activities.


Systemic autoimmune diseases (SAD) are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, creating a challenge for researchers and clinicians to find evidence-based solutions for SAD diagnostics, treatment and prevention. Due to the complexity of autoimmune disease research, which requires multidisciplinary approaches, a problem is insufficient research capacity at low-performing EU Member State research institutions. Research capacity, able to deliver precise and early diagnostic is of high importance to move towards the development of methods for personalized medicine and better understanding of triggers and mechanisms in autoimmunity, leading to better understanding of chronic diseases and comorbidities and searching for therapy options. VirA project will optimally address the challenges and strengthen the ERA (European Research Area) in autoimmunity.

Project activities

The research strategy will be upgraded and aligned with leading research institutions from Italy, Germany and Israel through the following activities:

  • Raising experience of the staff with short term exchanges;
  • Bringing new knowledge to the institute from expert visits and short-term on-site or virtual training;
  • Organization of training workshops and joint summer schools to increase the networking ability of staff and foster knowledge transfer, including technical approaches and molecular methods; 
  • Conference participation and attendance to help with project dissemination and gathering of new information and global knowledge exchange.

Project partners

  • Rīga Stradiņš University, Latvia (coordinator) 
  • University of Ferrara, Italy
  • Ulm University, Germany
  • Medical Research Infrastructure Development and Health Services Fund by the Sheba Medical Center,  Israel

News and events 

Press Release

Prepared press release here.

Information posted on 10.12.2020

VirA kick-off meeting

On 17 December 2020, the Horizon 2020-funded project VirA held its kick-off meeting in online. Representatives from 4 countries – Latvia, Italy, Germany and Israel- gathered to inaugurate the project’s start. 


The main goal is to create a research environment to stimulate researchers for generation of new research at high level and achievements in the study of autoimmune diseases. During the kick-off meeting, all project packages  were presented and the first key milestones were discussed. 

More about the project -

Information posted on  18.12.2020

1st LATVIA - ISRAEL On-line Symposium of Autoimmunity

The 1st LATVIA - ISRAEL On-line Symposium of Autoimmunity will take place in Zoom platform on 16 March 2021, at 09:50.

The Symposium will be opened by Associate Professor Modra Murovska (RSU) and Professor Yehuda Shoenfeld (Sheba Medical Center). 

During the Symposium researchers from Latvia and Israel will present their findings on topics related to autoimmunity, COVID-19, etc. and there also will be LIVE discussion in the discussion panel between the sessions.

Researchers and anyone interested in Autoimmunity are welcome to participate in the Symposium. All wishing to join can get connected through Zoom. 
Please, send your letter of interest to Yuri Ostrinski  Yuri[pnkts]Ostrinskiatgmail[pnkts]com at your earliest convenience.


Information posted on 01.03.2021

1st LATVIA - ISRAEL On-line Symposium  - Recording Available!

Following the big success of the 1ST Latvia-Israel symposium of Autoimmunity, please find enclosed the link to this recorded Symposium:… . Feel free to watch and learn from it.

Information posted on 06.04.2021

12th International Congress on Autoimmunity

The 12th International Congress on Autoimmunity will take place between 28 May – 1 June 2021 with live online interaction

To learn more about the congress, you can head over to the webpage.

Information posted on 06.04.2021



An international workshop Importance of differential diagnostic in rheumatic and other autoimmune diseases will take place in Zoom platform on 29-30 September 2021, organised under the EU-H2020 project VirA, in cooperation with partners from Germany and Israel.

The presentations will be provided by world and European researchers recognized in the research of autoimmune diseases - Prof. Yehuda Shoenfeld and Prof. Howard Amital from Tel Aviv Sheba Medical Center in Israel, Prof. Marion Schneider from Ulma University in Germany, etc.

Researchers and all interested people are welcome to join the Zoom meeting:…

Working language: English


Please be informed that the workshop will be recorded and can be used to create publicity materials!

Information posted on 20.09.2021