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September 08, 2014

Two professors elected to the Academia Europaea

Prof. Silvia Arber and Prof. Mihaela Zavolan from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have been appointed as members of the Academia Europaea – an honor, which they share with six other Biozentrum professors. The new members were announced on September 1, 2014, by the Council of the non-governmentally organized European Academy of Sciences. The Academy has currently about 2′800 members.

Newly appointed members: Prof. Silvia Arber (Photo: Geri Born) and Prof. Mihaela Zavolan

The neurobiologist, Silvia Arber, has been appointed to the section Cell Biology, while the systems biologist, Mihaela Zavolan, has become a member of the section Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. The appointments complete a rigorous selection process, in which the final election and announcement is made by the Academia Council.  Arber and Zavolan join Prof. Erich Nigg, Director of the Biozentrum, as well as the Nobel Laureate Prof. em. Werner Arber, Prof. em. Ueli Aebi, Prof. em. Walter Keller, Prof. em Gottfried Schatz, and Prof. em. Joachim Seelig as members of the Academy.

Prof. Silvia Arber

Silvia Arber investigates the mechanisms involved in the function and development of neuronal circuits controlling motor behavior.  She studied biology at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel and earned her doctorate in 1995 at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research (FMI), Basel. She subsequently took on a position in postdoctoral research at Columbia University, New York. In 2000, Silvia Arber returned to Basel, where she teaches and continues conducting research as a Professor of Neurobiology/Cell Biology at both the Biozentrum and the Friedrich Miescher Institute. Silvia Arber has also been awarded the Otto Naegeli Prize 2014, as well as the City of Basel Science Award, during this year.

Prof. Mihaela Zavolan

Mihaela Zavolan studies so called microRNAs (miRNAs), which regulate the expression of protein-coded genes and thus control cell differentiation, metabolism and immune response. She studied medicine at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Timișoara, Romania, and graduated with a PhD in Computer Science at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, USA. Zavolan then conducted research at the Santa Fe Institute in Santa Fe, at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, as well as at the Rockefeller University in New York. In 2003, Mihaela Zavolan was appointed Professor of Computational and Systems Biology at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel and a group leader at the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB).

Academia Europaea

The European, non-governmental, scientific Academia Europaea was founded in 1988 and has about 2′800 members. Most are European and share the primary objective of promoting education and research. These academics are researchers from the fields of science, technology, biology and medicine, mathematics, linguistics, humanities, social sciences, economics and business and law.

Contact: Communications, Heike Sacher