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The Biozentrum, University of Basel

The Biozentrum of the University of Basel is one of the leading life sciences institutes in the world. Its primary focus is on fundamental molecular and biomedical research and teaching.  International and interdisciplinary research groups explore how molecules and cells create life, spanning the scale from atom to organism. Founded in 1971, the Biozentrum has been the birth place of many groundbreaking discoveries in biology and medicine, spawning several Nobel Laureates.

The Biozentrum was founded in 1971 with the visionary concept of developing an interdisciplinary research institute for molecular and cellular biology. Today, more than 50 years later, the success of this interdisciplinary approach is evident and continues to be the Biozentrum's greatest strength.

The Biozentrum is home to 31 research groups. These scientists represent more than 40 nations and investigate how molecules and cells create life – from atom to organism, and from the physics of life to the dynamics of multicellular systems. Accordingly, the questions they tackle are very diverse: How do proteins form complex machines? How is the genome folded and read? How are cells organized to transport molecules and transmit signals? How do cells become specialized or cancerous? How does the body defend itself against pathogens? How do animals move, sleep and form memories? How do organisms develop and age? What are the theories and computational models that explain biological processes? What might be new strategies to treat diseases such as muscular dystrophies, Alzheimer's or cancer? The Biozentrum’s large number of scientific publications, numerous honors and awards, and several Nobel Prizes attest to its success.  

The groups at the Biozentrum are active in a wide range of research fields. These disciplines are not strictly separated from each other, but often overlap, thus leading to new questions and collaborations.This interdisciplinary spirit, combined with generous funding and excellent infrastructure, ensure research at the highest level.

One of the Biozentrum's top priorities is to train and inspire the next generation of scientists. Undergraduates are integrated into an active research environment from the start of their academic career and gain first-hand experience of life as a scientist. PhD students and postdocs benefit from the Biozentrum’s scientific resources and intensive, individual mentoring and coaching.

Exceptionally talented PhD students are supported by the "Biozentrum PhD Fellowships" program. Young assistant professors benefit from the open and collegial atmosphere and are given generous support to launch their careers. Today, hundreds of scientists who were at the Biozentrum are professors at prestigious academic institutions or leaders in industry and business.

The Biozentrum in figures 

Members of staff in 2023
Total members of staff: 537
Professors:  32
Postdoctoral researchers:  112
PhD students:  137
Scientific staff, etc.:  46
Master Students:  42
Lab staff/Technicians:  132
Administration:  36
Annual financial statement 2023
Total expenditure:  CHF 67.5 million 
University of Basel:  66.1%
National Science Foundation:  19.9%
Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics 2.2%
Misc. third party grants:  11.7%