Highly Specialized Medicine (HSM)

In the context of its overall strategy in the area of highly specialized medicine, the Government Council of the Canton of Zurich promotes selected projects at the University of Zurich and the University’s hospitals. For the second implementation phase (HSM II), the Council has chosen seven HSM projects that foster excellence in medical knowledge and research as well as in highly specialized medical care.

HSM II Projects at the University of Zurich:

Innovative immunological therapeutic approaches in neuro-oncology

University Hospital Zurich, University Children's Hospital Zurich, University of Zurich

Direction: Prof. Dr. Michael Weller

Neuro-oncology lies at the intersection between neuroscience and oncology, two priorities in University Medicine. This project aims to systematically develop and clinically test new therapy procedures via cell culture models and animal models in cases of brain tumors that cannot be treated curatively.

Functional neurosurgery and deep brain stimulation

University Hospital Zurich, University Children's Hospital Zurich, Balgrist University Hospital, ETH Zurich, University of Zurich

Direction: Prof. Dr. Christian Baumann

Deep brain stimulation is a viable form of therapy when drug therapy proves insufficient in the treatment of motor disorders. This project aims to identify indicators for effectiveness and side effects, to compile systematic studies on new indicators, and to further develop intervention technologies. This project will establish Zurich as an internationally leading center in the area of therapeutic neuromodulation.

Patient safety and outcome quality via the computer-assisted, patient-specific 3-D planning, simulating, and performing of operations

Balgrist University Hospital, University Hospital Zurich, University Children's Hospital Zurich, ETH Zurich, University of Zurich

Direction: Prof. Dr. Christian Gerber, PD Dr. Mazda Farshad, Dr. Philipp Fürnstahl

Creating anatomical 3-D computer models using medical imaging data is a major factor for other computer-assisted approaches. The aim of this project is to establish a center for computer-assisted surgery that focuses on direct clinical use on patients and that coordinates all related research conducted in the Zurich area.

Promoting innovative clinical therapeutic research in psychiatry: Psychiatric Clinical Trials Center of the Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich and the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

University Hospital of Psychiatry Zurich, University Hospital Zurich, University of Zurich

Direction: Prof. Dr. Erich Seifritz, Prof. Dr. Susanne Walitza, Prof. Dr. Elmar Habermeyer

The aim of this project is to create a psychiatric Clinical Trials Center to further develop and clinically test therapeutic approaches that are personalized, developmentally appropriate, and rooted in neurobiology. These approaches will then be evaluated according to their sustainability.

Standardizing pre-analytics of the central tissue sample database of the UniversityHospital Zurich for personalized medicine

University Hospital Zurich, University Children's Hospital Zurich, Balgrist University Hospital, University of Zurich

Direction: Prof. Dr. Holger Moch, PD Dr. Peter Schraml

In the field of oncology, a large percentage of decisions on treatment are based on molecular testing. Tissue samples of tumors are necessary to conduct these tests, and frozen tissues supply the required material. To secure the material for this project, a new cooling technology and a standardized procedure will be introduce at the UniversityHospital. This serves to guarantee consistent high quality in all molecular tests.

Center of Competence for Rare Diseases

University Children's Hospital Zurich, University Hospital Zurich, University Hospital of Psychiatry Zurich, Balgrist University Hospital, University of Zurich

Direction: Prof. Dr. Matthias Baumgartner, Prof. Dr. Giatgen Spinas

Today, medical care for patients with rare diseases is lacking in a number of areas. In order to better recognize and correctly diagnose rare diseases, and in order to optimize patient treatment, a pooling of competencies in a clinical reference laboratory is necessary. At the planned center, supplementary resources will be developed to support current clinical processes.

Website Center for Rare Diseases

Rare Diseases Helpline

Undiagnosed Patient Program

Targeted and interdisciplinary treatment of severe immune-mediated diseases

University Hospital Zurich, University Children's Hospital Zurich, University of Zurich

Direction: Prof. Dr. Onur Boyman

Immune disorders with a high degree of complexity and severity require an interdisciplinary and highly specialized infrastructure, assessment, and treatment. In working toward the implementation of new therapies and diagnostic procedures for complex and rare immune pathologies, this project benefits from the regular and intense collaboration between the UniversityHospital and the Children’s Hospital.