Centre for Emerging Viral Diseases


Mission of the Centre for Emerging Viral Diseases

New: Please find the latest information on the novel CoV outbreak under the follwing link to the WHO: https://www.who.int/csr/don/12-january-2020-novel-coronavirus-china/en/
Updates about diagnostic testing will be posted soon.

The Geneva Centre for Emerging Viral Diseases (GCEVD) is a joint institution of the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG) and the University of Geneva (UNIGE) - with the aim to understand and prevent the spread of emerging and re-emerging viruses, by providing diagnostic capacity combined with clinical expertise and basic research.

We believe that only in this interdisciplinary approach we will be able to tackle the global challenges of the future posed by novel viruses and their pandemic risks.

The goal of the Geneva Centre for Emerging Viral Diseases is the connection of all services working in the field of viral infectious diseases within the Geneva University Hospitals (Infectious Diseases, Tropical and Humanitarian Medicine, Vaccinology Center, Virology Laboratory and National Reference Center for Emerging Viral Infections), the Institute of Global Health and the virus research groups of the Faculty of Medicine of Geneva. Beyond this, we aim to foster and enhance our partnerships within the international Geneva (governmental and non-governmental organizations).

The recent Ebola outbreak has demonstrated the high level of human and technical expertise available in our two institutions: Geneva was the first center designated by the Worl Health Organization (WHO) to test the most promising Ebola vaccine and the HUGs have been among the very few European hospitals that have successfully treated a patient infected with Ebola. Furthermore, the HUG has the only diagnostic laboratory hosted by a hospital in Switzerland with the highest level of biosecurity.

The term "emerging" is not exclusively limited to novel and exotic viruses, but the Centre has an additional focus on the complex viral syndromes seen in high-resource countries in hospitalized patients (chronic viral infection, infection of the immunocompromised host).

The core mission of the Centre are:

  • A competent up-to-date diagnostic platform for Switzerland, available 24/24h and 7/7d.
  • Interdisciplinary, cross-cutting research on emerging viruses at the fundamental, translational and clinical level
  • Expertise for viral diseases including complex viral syndromes in patients hospitalized at the HUG


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Our raison d'être

An institution's missions are its raison d’être. The Geneva Act entrusts three key missions to the HUG: 

Succession planning

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Training is one of the HUG's three key missions, alongside research and care. They make it a point of honor to contribute to the emergence of new professionals, not only in the field of healthcare but across all of the various activities that the hospitals represent.



Mission of the Ophthalmology Division 

Since its creation in 1878, the Ophthalmology Division has been the largest ophthalmology center in the canton of Geneva in terms of diagnosis, treatment of eye disorders and research.
Its primary values are those of a university department.


Offer patients a high quality service with:

  • Specialized consultations in all fields of ophthalmology, supervised by specific, renowned specialists, using high-tech medical techniques.
  • Emergency services 24/7, every day of the year (8 pm - 6:30 am at the Emergency Room)
  • Operations performed in a specialized, safe environment
  • Information through brochures and during consultations, or via cycles of lectures open to the public on various eye diseases.


Remain at the forefront of research with active participation in basic and clinical research. We are working on many projects intended to better understand the pathology of eye diseases, improve existing treatments and develop new therapies. Our projects are individually financed by the European Commission, the FNS and HUG.


Train the next generation of FMH specialists in clinical ophthalmology

  • Undergraduate teaching
  • Postgraduate training: In our university division, official credit can be obtained for 3 years of postgraduate clinical training in ophthalmology (Category A). In addition, official credit may be obtained for a maximum of 1 year of research (replacing 1 year of non-specific training). Instead of research, it is possible to obtain credit for 1 year as part of the MD/PhD program at the University of Geneva.
  • In-depth training: Specialized training in ophthalmology surgery is available. Purely clinical activity. 2 years of credit. The microsurgery course (10 hrs minimum) is given once a year and provides a theoretical and practical introduction to microsurgery.

Cardiovascular Surgery


Mission of the Cardiovascular Surgery Division

  • Treatment, on therapeutic and diagnostic levels, surgical pathologies or cardiac and vascular trauma, for both adults and children, by taking into account the care given by other HUG Divisions within the framework of the Cardiovascular Center
  • Train future cardiovascular physicians and surgeons
  • Lead fundamental and clinical research projects
  • Lead humanitarian medicine (FR) projects in order to transfer knowledge and know-how to different developing countries


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