Press releases


Mar 23 2020

​ Goethe University and University Hospital Frankfurt ask for funding for research, equipment and patient care

Urgent call for donations to Goethe-Corona Fund

FRANKFURT. At least five million euros – this is the sum that Goethe University and the University Hospital want to collect to better meet the challenges of the Corona pandemic. Anyone can help: the money is to be raised through the donation platform and will go primarily toward researching the coronavirus, the urgent training of employees, and patient care at the University Hospital. Direct donations are also possible (please see link and donation account at the end of this press release).

The Johanna Quandt University Foundation made the start: non-bureaucratically, and within 24 hours, it provided a quarter million euros for the corona researcher Professor Sandra Ciesek and her team. With this money, the virologists from Goethe University and University Hospital want to advance their search for effective treatment. But this is only a beginning. The corona crisis requires a substantial degree of additional exertion – and therefore a substantial amount of additional funding.

“Our call goes out to everyone who wants to not just marvel at the incredible challenges, but to provide tangible help: donate to the Goethe-Corona fund. Every contribution is important and welcome," says University President Professor Birgitta Wolff, appealing to people's willingness to help. “If we all want to weather this crisis well and perhaps even emerge from it stronger than before, now is the time to set the course. If the city and university communities close ranks – not physically, of course – we can master even great challenges. This is precisely why the university was founded over 100 years ago," Wolff adds. As Stiftungsuniversität (university foundation under public law), Goethe University has the necessary leeway to also take unorthodox paths to enable financing, says Wolff. In the name of the University, the University Hospital, and the patients affected, she already expresses thanks to everyone who with their donation contributes to an improvement of the situation.

To master the crisis scientifically, clinically and organisationally, Goethe University and the Frankfurt University Hospital require additional personnel in the short term, and financial means. For this reason, the Goethe Corona Fund was established with the intention that it will quickly increase to at least five million euros – with the help of donations from the general public, foundations, and other private sponsors. Toward this end, a donation page was set up on the platform Betterplace; direct transfers are also possible, and both provide a donation receipt. First commitments have already been made from the circle of researchers: a professor has already  announced a donation of 40,000 euros.

“The growing pandemic entails a growing financial need in many areas: for example, we need money for specific equipment and experts, training for additional helpers in the crisis, and also to equip our medical personnel with protective clothing, goggles and face masks," says Professor Jürgen Graf, medical director of the University Hospital. In research, particular focus is placed on the patient-oriented research conducted by Professor Sandra Ciesek and her team: the goal is to find a vaccine and medical treatment for the aggressive virus, and to improve the diagnosis procedure. “With the aid of the additional funds we can emphatically expedite this research," explains virologist Ciesek. To do so, employees with biostatistical or biomedical training need to be hired in order to process and analyse the generated clinical data. In addition, additional equipment is urgently needed in virological and intensive care research and development in order to carry out experiments and studies more quickly and efficiently.

But in teaching as well, financial support is urgently needed: students should have the opportunity to participate in training and simulation classes to prepare them for the difficult situations in clinical daily routine. For this, additional medical simulation mannequins are required. “We are quick to reach the limits of our capacity in this area, although there is tremendous interest and commitment on the part of the students," says Professor Josef Pfeilschifter, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Goethe University. Teaching, education and training also depend on realistic simulations.

Donations via our donation project on

Or as wire transfer to the donation account:
Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen
IBAN: DE95 5005 0000 0001 0064 10
Purpose: Goethe-Corona-Fonds

Further information: Contact to Prof. Sandra Ciesek through the Frankfurt University Hospital: Christoph Lunkenheimer, University Hospital press officer, telephone: +49 69 6301-86442,