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Advisory Role

Updated: Sep 9, 2023

With the advent of the first variants of Alpha and Beta in late December 2020/January 2021, the attributed relevance of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing changed rapidly. As the evolution of the pandemic SARS-CoV-2 became an ever more important parameter for pandemic management, an increasing number of prominent Austrian politicians called out for scientific advice.



With the advent of the first variants of Alpha and Beta in late December 2020/January 2021, the attributed relevance of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing changed rapidly. Over the Holiday Season we sequenced selected samples, which turned out to be the first confirmed Alpha and Beta variants in Austria. The results were available on January 3 and communicated the following day together with the Federal Minister of Health and the head of the AGES. As the evolution of the pandemic SARS-CoV-2 became an ever more important parameter for pandemic management, we were increasingly asked for scientific advice. This included advisory roles of Dr. Bergthaler to e.g. the Federal Minister(s) for Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection and the Federal Chancellor(s) of the Republic of Austria. In addition, ad hoc advisory services were requested given to other advisory boards (e.g. Ampelkommission, Oberste Sanitätsrat), the Federal President of the Republic of Austria, provincial governors, political parties of the opposition and others. Dr. Bergthaler is actively involved in the Health Working Group of the COVID-19 Future Operations Platform, which fosters interdisciplinary expert exchange and prepares forward-looking Expert Opinions. In May 2022, this culminated in a two-days international conference entitled “Science for resilience – Learnings from the Pandemic”. From end of November 2021 to January 2022, Dr. Bergthaler co-authored 8 weekly Omicron reports with Dr. Ulrich Elling, Dr. Arne Bathke and Dr. Peter Klimek, which were widely distributed among the stakeholders and received by health authorities and political institutions. Since December 2022, Dr. Bergthaler is a founding member of the top governmental advisory board for pandemic management GECKO. These advisory roles are served on a voluntary basis and are not remunerated.

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