Annual Report 2017

Welcome

Ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues

Rektor Michael Hengartner

 

In 2017 the news about the discovery by UZH researchers of a new great ape species traveled around the globe. Digital Day, where UZH researchers explored the chances and challenges of the digital revolution, also received a great deal of attention.

This year’s picture gallery portrays the UZH academics who have been granted coveted European Research Council grants in the past 10 years. In 2017 alone, ERC grants brought in around 20 million euros to fund research activities at our University.

The recipients of these grants are playing in the champions’ league of the international research community. They are the faces of UZH’s academic excellence and we are extremely proud of their achievements.

Warm regards Prof. Michael O. Hengartner, President

April 2018

Researchers Pictured

Top researchers at the University of Zurich, photographed by Philipp Rohner.

Excellent Research

UZH biologist Anne Müller in her laboratory

They are curious and persistent, creative and bold – 16 researchers tell us what drives them. They represent the 65 UZH academics who have received a coveted and lucrative European Research Council grant in the last 10 years, or who received support from the Swiss National Science Foundation’s temporary ERC replacement measures in 2014.

Photo: UZH biologist Anne Müller in her laboratory.

bold

Silja Häusermann

Research has to involve risks, says Silja Häusermann. The political scientist uses experimental methods to find out how voters and politicians set priorities for social policy.

Prof. Silja Häusermann,
Department of Political Science
ERC Starting Grant 2016

curious

Matthias Altmeyer

Matthias Altmeyer has an insatiable curiosity. The molecular biologist examines how cancer occurs in cells.

Prof. Matthias Altmeyer,
Department of Molecular Mechanisms
of Disease
ERC Starting Grant 2016

international

Steven Ongena

Finance expert Steven Ongena researches how financial crises damage the real economy. The little pig and the posters are gifts from fellow researchers in Asia.

Prof. Steven Ongena,
Department of Banking and Finance
ERC Advanced Grant 2016

creative

Giacomo Indiveri

He enjoys thinking about things in a playful way. Neuroinformatics scholar Giacomo Indiveri builds complex electronic systems that are based on the brain.

Prof. Giacomo Indiveri,
Department of Neuroinformatics
ERC Starting Grant 2010
ERC Proof of Concept Grant 2015
ERC Consolidator Grant 2017

hard-hitting

Nicola Serra

Nicola Serra packs a punch both in his hobby as a boxer and as a researcher. The physicist investigates what happened in the universe immediately after the Big Bang.

Prof. Nicola Serra,
Physics Institute
SNSF Starting Grant 2014

analytical

Anne Müller

It was even found in Ötzi the Iceman’s stomach: The bacterium Helicobacter pylori is a well-known cause of mucosal inflammation, ulcers and cancer. Biologist Anne Müller analyzes the mechanisms of how gastric cancer develops as a result of Helicobacter pylori infection.

Prof. Anne Müller,
Institute of Molecular Cancer Research
SNSF Consolidator Grant 2014

sovereign

Daniel Moeckli

The protection of the human rights is a cornerstone of a functioning democracy, says law scholar Daniel Moeckli. His research focuses on the interplay between people’s sovereignty and the rule of law in direct democracies.

Prof. Daniel Moeckli,
Institute of Law
ERC Consolidator Grant 2017

inspired

Dina Pomeranz

Dina Pomeranz investigates how taxes are evaded and avoided. This unwieldy topic can at times require a light-hearted approach, which she also seeks to convey to her students.

Prof. Dina Pomeranz,
Department of Economics
ERC Starting Grant 2017

cosmopolitan

Raji C. Steineck

What is the nature of time? Japanese studies scholar Raji C. Steineck researches how time was perceived in Medieval Japan, revealing a great deal about today’s concept of time.

Prof. Raji C. Steineck,
Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies
ERC Advanced Grant 2016

captivating

Melanie Greter

The immune system protects us from infectious pathogens. Immunologist Melanie Greter examines the development and function of scavenger cells, which eliminate harmful invaders.

Prof. Melanie Greter,
Institute of Experimental Immunology
SNSF Starting Grant 2014

innovative

Sara Irina Fabrikant

Sara Irina Fabrikant researches digital navigation systems, combining neuroscience, cognitive science and geoinformatics with cartography.

Prof. Sara Irina Fabrikant,
Department of Geography
ERC Advanced Grant 2016

high-flying

Davide Scaramuzza

Davide Scaramuzza wants to teach robots to fly autonomously. His flying machines could save lives in the future.

Prof. Davide Scaramuzza,
Department of Informatics
SNSF Starting Grant 2014

efficient

Barbara Flückiger

Her research team describes her as innovative and efficient. Film studies scholar Barbara Flückiger researches how technological innovation influences film-making.

Prof. Barbara Flückiger,
Department of Film Studies
ERC Advanced Grant 2014

persistent

Adriano Aguzzi

Adriano Aguzzi’s work focuses on decrypting prions, the infectious agents that cause mad cow disease. He has received several awards for his research into how prions move across the body and is now investigating what these misfolded proteins look like.

Prof. Adriano Aguzzi,
Institute of Neuropathology
ERC Advanced Grants 2009 and 2014
ERC Proof of Concept Grant 2017

cheerful

Andreas Wagner

Bioinformatics scientist Andreas Wagner is fascinated by evolutionary processes that are at once enduring and novel. He wants to find out how new life forms come to be.

Prof. Andreas Wagner,
Department of Evolutionary Biology and
Environmental Studies
ERC Advanced Grant 2016

visionary

Fritjof Helmchen

Brain researcher Fritjof Helmchen observes what nerve cells do when we think. To do this, he develops new microscopic processes.

Prof. Fritjof Helmchen,
Brain Research Institute
ERC Advanced Grant 2014

Highlights

Translation at Lightning Speed

Woman at the Digital Day at Zurich Main Station

On Digital Day in November 2017, UZH researchers – who also develop projects using smart technologies – discussed the opportunities of digitalization at Zurich Main Station.

UZH News: Living in a Digitalized Society

A Worldlier World

Zwingli-Denkmal vor der Zürcher Wasserkirche.

2017 marked the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The Reformation freed up resources for our earthly lives, explains Peter Opitz, professor of ecclesiastical and dogmatic history at UZH.

UZH News: Die Welt wurde weltlicher (in German)

New Great Ape Species Discovered

Tapanuli-Orang-Utan

Until recently, only two species of orangutans were recognized – the Bornean and the Sumatran. UZH researchers have now identified a new great ape species, the Tapanuli orangutan.

Media Release: UZH Anthropologists Describe Third Orangutan Species

Big Bang in Biology

Krebszellen in der Zellteilung

Genetic analyses of cancer cells generate millions of gigabytes of DNA data. Bioinformatics expert Michael Baudis makes them accessible to researchers and investigates how cancer cells change.

More on the website of Michael Baudis

For a Firm Bite

Implantat-Operation am Kiefer

The UZH Foundation raises money for especially promising projects that couldn’t be realized without these donations – as shown by an example from dentistry.

More on the website of the UZH Foundation

Healthy Optimists

Drei Männer über 40 am Seilziehen

Ulrike Ehlert researches what keeps men in their forties or older healthy, fit and happy. An optimistic approach to life and regular exercise are essential, says the psychologist.

UZH News: Healthy Optimists

Dark Matter and Measuring Time

tbd

Researchers from the University of Zurich are successfully applying for the coveted European Research Council grants. In 2017 alone, 10 ERC grants were awarded to UZH researchers.

Media release: 13 Mio. Euro Fördergelder für fünf UZH-Forschende (in German)

"Chemistry Is My Mission"

Greta Patzke mit Studierenden im Labor

Greta Patzke knows exactly how to get her students interested in chemistry. The professor of inorganic chemistry has received this year’s teaching award for her inspiring teaching.

UZH News: «Die Chemie ist meine Mission» (in German)

University Embedded in the City

Computergrafik: Hochschulquartier in 10 Jahren

The planning stage for the Zurich City University District (Hochschulgebiet Zürich Zentrum) is now closed and the architectural competitions are about to be launched. The building project is aimed to be realized by 2025.

More: Website Stadtuniversität (German only)

The Best of Both Worlds

Peter Isler (Präsident Alumni UZH) und Denise Schmid (Präsidentin ZUNIV)

The Zurich University Association and Alumni UZH were established in 1883 and 2006 respectively. In 2017, the two alumni associations merged into UZH Alumni, starting a new chapter in UZH’s alumni history.

More on the website of the UZH Alumni

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Detailed statistics on the Website of the Finance Office (in German)

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Detailed statistics on the Website of the Finance Office (in German)

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Infografik UZH in Zahlen

Detailed statistics on the Website of the Finance Office (in German)

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Infografik UZH in Zahlen

Detailed statistics on the Website of the Finance Office (in German)

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Infografik UZH in Zahlen

Detailed statistics on the Website of the Finance Office (in German)

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Detailed statistics on the Website of the Finance Office (in German)

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Detailed statistics on the Website of the Finance Office (in German)

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Detailed statistics on the Website of the Finance Office (in German)

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Detailed statistics on the Website of the Finance Office (in German)

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Detailed statistics on the Website of the Finance Office (in German)

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Detailed statistics on the Website of the Finance Office (in German)

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Detailed statistics on the Website of the Finance Office (in German)