News Archive

How our behavior leaves traces in the brain

The group of the neurobiologist Prof. Peter Scheiffele has been able to elucidate a new mechanism by which nerve cells (neurons) alter the formation of their networks in the brain depending on neuronal signals. These findings... more

New Approaches in Research with Nanobodies

While the use of antibodies in research and science as well as in the field of medical therapies has become routine, there is up to date, little application in basic science of so-called nanobodies, tiny antibody fragments... more

Second “ERC Advanced Investigator Grant” Awarded to a Scientist from the Biozentrum

The infection biologist Prof. Guy Cornelis has been working as a Professor of Molecular Microbiology at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel since 2001. His main research focus is the investigation of the complex mechanisms... more

Journey to Other Worlds – From the Cosmos to the Nanoworld

This virtual expedition is a journey from the vast cosmos into the minute nanoworld. The participants will experience, how the tiniest building blocks make life possible at all, how they work perfectly together and define... more

Blood Vessel Network Formation Observed Live for the First Time

Until recently, it was not possible to investigate the formation of blood vessel networks at the cellular level in living organisms since no suitable method for live imaging was available. Markus Affolter’s research group at the... more

Regulatory process for organ scaling discovered

One of the most interesting and perhaps mysterious questions in developmental biology is to understand how organisms develop from an embryo to an adult with their body proportions remaining constant over generations. External... more

Anatomical blueprint for motor antagonism identified

Movement is of central importance to humans and animals. For it to work reliably, dozens of muscles must be activated and coordinated by the nervous system through precisely timed impulses. In this process, the execution of... more

"ERC Starting Grant" for the Biozentrum and Sebastian Hiller

Within the framework of his European Research Council (ERC) research project, Sebastian Hiller and his research group will investigate structures and functions of mitochondrial membrane proteins using nuclear magnetic... more

Science Close Up – Celebrating 40 years of the Biozentrum

At “Biozentrum Live!”, the Open House Days, 4000 visitors took advantage of the possibility to experience the Biozentrum and its scientists and staff close up. In particular many families attended and dived with their children... more

Jubilee Symposium, 14th and 15th September 2011

At the two-day scientific symposium, 27 internationally renowned speakers will talk about the latest developments in the field of molecular biology. Among them are four Nobel Prize Winners: Peter Agre (Johns Hopkins University),... more

Biozentrum live! – Open Door Days: 10 and 11 September

40 years of first-class basic research and teaching are the trademarks of the Biozentrum, the largest natural sciences department at the University of Basel. This is where scientists from all over the world bring their expertise... more

Professor Karl G. Hofbauer

Farewell Lecture of Professor Karl G. Hofbauer

Seafarers travelled around the globe between the two poles, making discoveries and bringing countless treasures home with them. Furthermore, mariners could tell a good story and were always sure of an interested audience. Today,... more

Two Research Groups receive Sinergia Funding Grants from the SNSF

The multidiscipline Sinergia Project headed by Prof. Christoph Handschin at the Biozentrum aims to improve stem cell therapy in the treatment of muscular diseases. In this project, the potential of the body’s own stem cells to... more

How bacteria coordinate important decisions

The development of all organisms depends on the generation of specialized cells at the right time and in appropriate numbers. Therefore, developmental programs have to be tightly coordinated with the proliferation of the cells.... more

Bacteria inject DNA into human cells

The bacterium Bartonella transfers a cocktail of bacterial proteins into human cells with the aid of a molecular injection needle (“Type IV secretion system”), which enables this pathogen to cause chronic infections. Christoph... more

From biological machines to molecular devices of the future

The relevance of biological NPC function lies in how it facilitates the rapid exchange of specific cargo proteins into and out of the cell nucleus in a highly selective manner. Each 50 nm-diameter NPC functions as a selective... more

Somdeb Bose Dasgupta wins an INSA medal for Young Scientists

The Indian Academy (INSA) instituted the scheme of Science Academy Medals for Young Scientists in 1974, with the aim of distinguishing young scientists of extraordinary promise and creativity who have made notable research... more

How intestinal cells defend themselves against Salmonella

Salmonella is widespread in the animal kingdom. However, a healthy human generally only becomes ill if they ingest at least 100,000 bacteria via contaminated foodstuff like eggs or meat. The Salmonella infection begins by... more

Detecting Breast Cancer and Osteoarthritis with Nanotechnology Made for Mars

Recent breakthroughs in nanobiological research Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer seen in women. Yet, conventional diagnostics often involve long waiting times that cause a patient anxiety and distress. Within the... more

Jean Pieters Appointed Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

Jean Pieters, Research Group Leader in the area of Infection Biology at the Biozentrum, was selected to become a member of the Academy's Science Division "Medicine". In appointing him, the Royal Netherlands Academy of... more

Systems biology: New Database of Regulatory Sites

Proteins are basic building blocks of all organisms. Apart from this structural function, they are responsible for carrying out all vital processes, ranging from cell growth, division, cell differentiation to programmed cell... more

Two prestigious awards for Ueli Aebi

Prof. Ueli Aebi is this year's winner of the "Carl Zeiss Lecture" award, the highest distinction for science from the German Society for Cell Biology (DGZ). During the 34th Annual Meeting of the DGZ, Prof. Aebi spoke... more

Urs Jenal elected Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology

Urs Jenal has discovered a signaling pathway, which plays an important role in regulating growth and behavior of most bacteria. In structured environments many bacteria are able to switch between two mutually exclusive... more

Ribosomes Activate Cell Growth – and Cancer

TOR (Target of Rapamycin) is a central controller of cell growth and as such plays a vital role in the development and ageing of an organism. TOR can be found in all eukaryotes - from yeast to man. It is active as part of two... more

Farewell Symposium for Andreas Engel

Prof. Andreas Engel worked and taught at the Biozentrum for over 25 years. In his research, he focused on unraveling the structure and understanding the function of various membrane proteins. One major emphasis was the... more

Charles University in Prague awards Prof. Ueli Aebi an honorary doctorate

The 1st Faculty of Medicine of Prague’s Charles University honored Ueli Aebi’s fundamental contributions to a structurally based understanding of the function of molecular machines and supramolecular protein structures, which he... more

The Darwin Finches of the Bacterial World

Adaptive radiation is the rapid origination of multiple species from a single ancestor as the result of concurrent adaption to disparate environments. This fundamental evolutionary process is considered to be responsible for the... more

Trial and error: The brain learns from mistakes

The Investigation of brain development and mechanisms in the assembly of neuronal networks play a decisive role in the understanding as well as in the management of neurological disorders such as autism, schizophrenia or... more

Biozentrum Symposium 2011 – Celebration of the Institute’s Ongoing Science

As a novelty, the Biozentrum symposium was scheduled in the first half of the year and attracted a record of 350 participants. This year’s organization committee, headed by Prof. Anne Spang, guided through the day and provided an... more

Werner Arber Appointed President of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences

Werner Arber, born in 1929, studied Science at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich and was awarded his Doctorate, in 1958, at the University of Geneva. After taking on a postdoctoral research position at the... more

Info Day for Prospective Students

In the introduction to the biology curriculum held by Markus Affolter, Professor for Cell Biology at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, the prospective students experienced their first live “lecture”. In various tours... more

Election of Peter Philippsen to the Rank of AAAS Fellow

At the end of the eighties, Professor Philippsen's research team was among the first to join the international yeast genome sequencing project of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The complete decoding was accomplished in 1996, and the... more