2021 Scientific Report

The present annual scientific report summarizes the research activities at the Institutes and Departments of the Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale (EOC) and at the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) in the field of medical research for the year 2021. This format reflects the increasing integration between research conducted at the two institutions following the creation of the USI Faculty of Biomedical Sciences and the signature of a research cooperation agreement in 2020.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, EOC saw continued growth in research in 2021 – confirming the uptrend reported the previous year - with a significant increase of the scientific production. Several reasons can explain this finding: the positive influence of the USI Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, the integration of the Cardiocentro Ticino Institute in EOC but also the development of new research areas in all EOC Institutes and Departments (which singly showed an increased scientific production compared to the previous year). Beyond the great productivity, published scientific articles demonstrated also the breadth and the quality of the research being undertaken at the EOC. Furthermore, several research projects are underway involving multidisciplinary teams and collaborations with research groups worldwide. Collaborative efforts will further fuel the EOC research activities in the upcoming years.

In 2021, the EOC Institutes and Departments, including both the clinical research groups and the laboratories for translational research (LRT-EOC), produced high-quality research attaining broad recognition at national and international level.
Together with patient care and education, research is an essential part of EOC activities. Bringing research close to practice facilitates the development of clinical studies and the monitoring of the effectiveness of clinical interventions and care processes, guarantees the quality and safety of services provided to patients and ensures that patients benefit from innovative diagnostic methods and therapies.
Furthermore, the steady growth in quantity and quality of research activities at EOC is paramount for the USI Faculty of Biomedical Sciences and is in line with the 2022-2025 EOC strategic plan for a cantonal hospital with mandate for academic education and research, that aspires to become a university hospital.

 

Editorial Board
of the EOC Scientific Report

2021 Research Highlights

  • A significant number of peer-reviewed scientific articles was published by EOC researchers in 2021 (N = 815), most of them as original or review articles (N = 709, 87%). Overall, the number of publications increased by 301 (+37%) compared to publications in 2020. EOC research was mainly clinical with less than 10% of EOC scientific publications related to LRT-EOC.
  • Peer-reviewed original and review articles were published in scientific journals showing very heterogeneous Journal Impact Factors (IFs) with a median value of 4.467. Notably, a total of 98 original articles and reviews (14%) were published on high impact factor journals (Journal IF ≥ 10).
  • Just over half of peer-reviewed original and review articles was published in scientific journals ranked in the Journal IF quartile Q1, demonstrating the high quality of the EOC scientific production in 2021.
  • Most of peer-reviewed original and review articles (90%) published in 2021 was the result of national or international collaborations.
  • The EOC researcher was the first or last author in about half of the peer-reviewed original and review articles; this finding demonstrates that many of the research projects have been conceived and conducted at EOC.
  • 129 new research projects involving persons – 70 non-clinical and 59 clinical trials - activated in 2021 and 345 ongoing research projects at the EOC hospitals and labs.
  • More than CHF 8 mio of external funding in 2021 with ICCT, INSI, IOSI, and LRT-EOC achieving the highest funding for current ongoing research projects.
  • Overall, EOC research activities saw a significant increase in productivity and quality outputs in 2021 compared to the previous year.