In recognition of the high scientific quality of its research, the Biozentrum is also generously supported by companies, private individuals and foundations who, for example, finance new research activities or the purchase of major technical equipment or foster outstanding PhD students by providing scholarships or prizes. The Biozentrum is also very appreciative of smaller contributed donations.
Maurice E. Müller
As early as 1986, the successful pioneer of orthopedic surgery, Maurice E. Müller, agreed that his foundation (the Maurice E. Müller Foundation) would build the M.E. Müller Institute for High Resolution Electron Microscopy (MIH) at the Biozentrum. Hereby, Maurice E. Müller made an important contribution to the globally recognized success of the Biozentrum in structural biology. Over the past twenty years, he has most generously supported the Biozentrum – and, in turn, the University of Basel – to the tune of more than CHF 40 million. Today, Maurice E. Müller is still the most important patron of the Biozentrum; we owe him our grateful thanks and respectfully acknowledge his life's work.
From 1987 onwards, several companies supported the purchase of an MRI scanner for biomedical research and clinical use, with contributions totaling about CHF 5.5 million. In 1999, Roche and Novartis each donated CHF 2.5 million to buy the nuclear magnetic resonance equipment necessary for the Biozentrum to compete internationally in fields apart from the already established ones such as X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy.
Also in 1999, Roche and Novartis together contributed a further million Swiss francs to build up a powerful Bioinformatics group.
The Biozentrum has received gifts and legacies of almost CHF 5 million since 1999 enabling it to consolidate neurobiology as a research focus. The most generous contribution of CHF 3.6 million was made by the Personality Disorder Foundation (USA), but an anonymous gift of one million Swiss francs also has to be mentioned.
In 2000, the Novartis Research Foundation also sponsored a Chair in Applied Pharmacology at the Biozentrum. The Biozentrum has also received numerous smaller research donations.
Thanks to the generous support of the Werner Siemens Foundation, that provided initial start-up financing of CHF 5 million in 2007, complemented in 2008 with an additional million Swiss francs, a prestigious PhD training program could be inaugurated at the Biozentrum. The annual award of ten scholarships as part of the current “Biozentrum PhD Fellowships ” program aims to foster the most highly qualified doctoral students in the field of Life Sciences and to promote international cooperation.
In 2014, the wife of John Charles Warren Shepherd, a former collaborator of Prof. em. Walter Gehring, bequeathed a part of their assets to the Biozentrum with the aim of awarding a student prize in his memory. The “J.C.W. Shepherd PhD Student Prize”, endowed with CHF 1,500 per awardee, is granted annually to up to three doctoral students for scientific excellence.
In 2015, the two Biozentrum alumni, Heide and Kjell Fredrik Tullberg founded the Gottfried Schatz PhD Student Prize. The prize worth CHF 3,000 is granted each year for the most outstanding doctoral thesis in the area of Cell Biology or Biochemistry.
The Biozentrum is extremely grateful to all its sponsors and patrons. Their contributions help to keep the Biozentrum at the cutting edge. Only with their assistance can the Biozentrum maintain its leading national and international role with innovative projects, attractive areas of interest for research and first-class events.