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J.C.W. Shepherd PhD Student Prize of the Biozentrum, University of Basel

The wife of John Charles Warren Shepherd, a former collaborator of Walter Gehring (see Shepherd JC et al. 1984 Nature, Shepherd JC et al. 1989 PNAS), has bequeathed part of her estate to the Biozentrum, University of Basel, for the specific purpose of setting up a student prize for scientific excellence in his memory.

An annual prize will be awarded to up to three PhD students achieving academic excellence in scientific research at the Biozentrum and the ability to describe these achievements in an essay. Awardees will be selected by the committee members of the Biozentrum Basel PhD Fellowships Program. The prize consists of CHF 1'500.00 per awardee and will be handed out at the Biozentrum Symposium of the following year.

PhD Students can apply during their PhD thesis and up to 1 year after their thesis defines but only with a subject/work done during the PhD thesis. Students should be encouraged by their supervisor to apply.


  • A written essay, of up to 500 words, about the project work and associated publication. The essay should include "Background", "Open Question/Hypothesis", "Achievements" and "Broder Impact" sections. The essay should contextualise the work for a broader scientific audience (i.e. other focal areas at the Biozentrum).
  • A supporting statement from the PhD thesis supervisor.
  • The publication in question, which has to be at least in revision at the time of application.

Applications should be submitted to Angie Klarer (angie.klarer(at)unibasto make life hard for spam by November 30 as a single pdf file.

2019 Elisabetta Furlanis, Group Scheiffele“Landscape of ribosome-engaged transcript isoforms reveals extensive neuronal-cell-class-specific alternative splicing programs”
2018Foivos Gypas, Group Zavolan"Terminal exon characterization with TECtool reveals an abundance of cell-specific isoforms." 
2017Maj Brodmann, Group Basler“Francisella requires dynamic type VI secretion system and ClpB to deliver effectors for phagosomal escape “
Paolo Capelli, Group Arber“Locomotor speed control circuits in the caudal brainstem.” 
2016Andreas J. Gruber, Group ZavolanA comprehensive analysis of 3’ end sequencing data sets reveals novel poly-adenylation signals and the repressive role of heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein C on cleavage and polyadenylation”
Ludwig Ruder, Group Arber“Long-distance descending spinal neurons ensure quadrupedal locomotor stability”
Lisa Traunmüller, Group Scheiffele“Control of neuronal synapse specification by a highly dedicated alternative splicing program”
Andrea Vettiger, Group Basler“Type VI secretion system substrates are transferred and reused among sister cells”
2015Alexander Harms, Group Dehio"Adenylylation of Gyrase and Topo IV by FicTs Disrupts Bacterial DNA Topology"