Competence Centers 2017-08-07T18:39:50+00:00

Competence Centers

Scientific (competence) centers are networks coordinated according to strategic objectives of University and/or ETH institutes or parts of them. In many cases, they are joint cross-disciplinary centers of the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich.
Scientific (competence) centers combine regional scientific know-how with business activities. They set milestones for the future and foster alliances between basic and applied research, so spurring innovation in business and society.

The Cancer Center Zürich connects areas of expertise at the organ level to establish individual care centers. Thanks to modern techniques, precise diagnosis can be made, and personalized therapies can be offered. Targeted drugs produce fewer side-effects. The Cancer Center Zürich guarantees excellent quality in prevention, diagnostics, treatment, aftercare, and genetic counselling.

Key competences
– Breast cancer, gynaecological cancer and prostate cancer
– Colorectal cancer
– Skin cancer
– Brain tumors, head-neck tumors
– Lung cancer

Cancer Center Zürich
Rämistrasse 100
CH-8091 Zurich
+41 44 255 11 11


The Center for Experimental and Clinical Imaging Technologies (EXCITE) Zurich is a joint competence center of the ETH and the University of Zurich. It serves as a platform for education and exchange of biological and biomedical imaging solutions.
The center facilitates multidisciplinary collaborations between scientists in academia and in industry.

Key competences
– Establishing innovative projects in biomedical imaging
– Coordinating imaging technology resources and providing expert advice
– Offering educational training programs in biomedical imaging to academia and industry
– Representing the biomedical imaging community of the Zurich area

Research cooperation with companies
Philips Healthcare, Bruker Biospin, GE Healtcare, Scanco, Carl Zeiss

Prof. Sebastian Kozerke
c/o ETH Zurich
Institute for Biomedical
Gloriastrasse 35
CH-8092 Zurich


The Center for Gerontology is an interdisciplinary and inter-faculty center of competence. Its focus is the scientific foundations of aging with good quality of life, and to this purpose it strives for interdisciplinary networking. The Center fosters collaboration among researchers, elderly people, and professionals from various fields.

Key competences
– The center examines conditions that promote and stabilize the quality of life in old age
– It facilitates the participation of elderly people in aging research
– It conceives and pilots innovative evaluation methods and counselling approaches for the application of gerontological knowledge
– It provides opportunities for collaboration between researchers

Research cooperation with companies
City of Zurich, Department for Health and Environment, Curaviva Switzerland

Hans Rudolf Schelling
Center for Gerontology UZH
Pestalozzistrasse 24
CH-8032 Zurich


The Center of Excellence in Medicine – Ethics – Rights Helvetiae (MERH) is an established collaboration between the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Medicine, with about 100 members. It leads, supports and organizes research projects, publications, and events in the fields of medicine, ethics, and law with a focus on interdisciplinary questions. In addition, it offers a certificate course (CAS) for practitioners.

Key competences
– Publications: Personalized Medicine, Nanomedicine, Federal Act on Research Involving Human Beings
– Interdisciplinary projects: The MERH supports excellent projects by building bridges and providing expertise
– Education of professionals: The MERH offers courses for a certificate of advanced studies (CAS MedLaw UZH) for professional practitioners

Prof. Brigitte Tag
Center of Excellence in
Medicine – Ethics –
Rights Helvetiae
Freiestrasse 15
CH-8032 Zurich


The Center of Competence Multimorbidity is an open interdisciplinary scientific network. Its aim is to develop a new conceptual framework with new approaches to understand multimorbidity and its management. The main focus lies in the development of evidence-based programs and the acceleration of translational science into clinical practice.

Key competences
– Drug-disease, disease-disease and drug-drug interactions in multimorbidity
– Clinical decision making in multimorbid patients
– Development of new methods and approaches to measure multimorbidity
– Clinical epidemiology of concurrent active and chronical conditions
– Medical adherence in multimorbidity
– Functional quality of life in multimorbid patients

Dr. Barbara Holzer
Center of Competence Multimorbidity
c/o USZ, Dept. of Internal Medicine
Rämistrasse 100
CH-8091 Zurich
+41 44 255 99 57


The Center for Applied Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine (CABMM) aims to promote interdisciplinary and translational research by fostering collaborations between basic researchers and clinicians from human and veterinary medicine in the fields of experimental medicine, regenerative medicine, molecular medicine, and applied biotechnology.

Key competences
– Promotion of scientific exchange and collaboration in translational and interdisciplinary research
– Network of more than 60 member groups
– Research platform through which basic researchers, clinicians, and veterinarians work closely together
– Funding program for cooperative projects (CABMM start-up grant)
– Organization of scientific symposia and events

Dr. Silke Kalchofner-Mark
Winterthurerstrasse 190
CH-8057 Zurich


The Clinical Trials Center (CTC) of the USZ supports the clinical research teams in the planning and realization of clinical trial projects. The CTC primarily supports academic investigator-initiated clinical research and collaborates with both clinicians and basic researchers. It is committed to supporting and conducting innovative clinical research projects.

Key competences
– Offers high-quality support for a broad range of clinical research projects
– Brings together expertise, quality, and dedication to promote clinical research
– Maintains close cooperation with local, national and international clinical trial units
– Trial management design: quality assurance structures, successful conduct, and study completion

Clinical Trials Center
Rämistrasse 100
CH-8091 Zurich


The Competence Center for Mental Health was established at UZH with the aim of creating a multidisciplinary network of mental health experts equipped to respond to, and ultimately reduce, the increasing burden of mental health. The CCMH produces high-quality research and provides supervision for clinicians, postdoctoral fellows, and PhD students.

Key competences
– Research expertise from clinical to public health
– Clinical expertise from children to elderly
– Potential for translational research with links from
early-stage research to implementation

Prof. Meichun Mohler-Kuo
Competence Center for Mental Health
Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Hirschengraben 84
CH-8001 Zurich


With the Competence Center Personalized Medicine (CC-PM), the ETH and UZH aim to build and provide a framework for generating and integrating multidimensional genomic and (epi)genetic datasets. The center operates at the interface of life sciences, medicine, and technology. Members find an ideal environment to address interdisciplinary research projects involving basic and clinical researchers.

Key competences
– Biomedical research, translational research, MTB PhD program, bench-to-bedside approach
– DNA sequencing, genetic disposition of individuals
– Connection of (epi)genetic information with clinical
data, genome-guided diagnosis, and therapy
– Two technology platforms: Nexus (ETH) | Tissue, Serum and Cell Banking Unit (USZ)

Dr. Silke Schneider
c/o UZH
Voltastrasse 24
CH-8044 Zurich

+41 44 634 15 25

The Functional Genomics Center Zurich (FGCZ) is a joint state-of-the-art research and training facility of the ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich. With the latest technologies and key expertise for omics research, the FGCZ carries out research projects and technology development in collaboration with the Zurich life sciences research community.

Key competences
– Genome, epigenome, and transcriptome analysis by latest NGS and single-molecule sequencing
– Quantitative proteome and post-translational modification analysis using high-end mass spectrometry
– Metabolome and lipidome analysis by mass spectrometry
– Bioinformatics support for study design, data processing, and interpretation of complex molecular data

Prof. Ralph Schlapbach
Functional Genomics Center Zurich
c/o UZH
Winterthurerstrasse 190
CH-8057 Zurich


The key objective of the INAPIC is to facilitate research on normal healthy behavioral and neural development and aging to explore the potential for plasticity and compensation across the lifespan and the mechanisms of stabilization of life quality and health during adulthood. The INAPIC has been involved in the UZH’s “Dynamics of Healthy Aging” University Research Priority Program since 2013.

Key competences
– Neural plasticity
– Behavioral (cognitive and motor) plasticity
– Training studies
– Longitudinal research methodology
– Neuroscientific imaging methodology

Dr. Christina Röcke
Andreasstrasse 15
P.O. Box 2
CH-8050 Zurich


The ZNZ is a joint competence center of the ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich creating synergies between its 1,000 neuroscientists in research and education. Our network includes research groups from the UZH, ETH, and the four university hospitals and clinics in Zurich.

Key competences
– Neural plasticity and repair
– Neurorehabilitation
– Neurodegeneration
– Neuroinformatics
– Neuroimaging

Dr. Wolfgang Knecht
Neuroscience Center Zurich
c/o UZH
Winterthurerstrasse 190
CH-8057 Zurich


The Stroke Center is a competence center of highly specialized medicine (HSM, certified by SFCNS) offering optimal care to patients with ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. It is characterized by interdisciplinary collaboration between neurology, neuroradiology, and neurosurgery. It organized the Zurich Stroke Network of regional hospitals.

Key competences
– Interdisciplinary stroke care with evidence-based treatment pathways
– Organization of a regional stroke network consisting of partner hospitals (Zurich and adjacent cantons)
– Research activity in acute stroke care, prevention and rehabilitation from animal models to clinical studies
– Organization of education in vascular neurosciences

Research cooperation with companies
Boehringer-Ingelheim and Astra Zeneca

Prof. Dr. med. Andreas Luft
Stroke Center
Dept. of Neurology
Frauenklinikstrasse 26
CH-8091 Zurich


To establish and sustain systems biology research in Switzerland at an internationally competitive level, SystemsX.ch funds systems biology in Switzerland by
1. supporting interdisciplinary research projects,
2. educating the next generation of systems biologists,
3. supporting private-public partnerships, and
4. participating in international systems biology programs.
SystemsX.ch consists of 15 partner institutions, involving 400 research groups in 250 projects.

Key competences
– Interdisciplinary and inter-institutional systems approach
in life sciences research across Switzerland
– Review procedure in cooperation with the SNSF
– Specific support for interdisciplinary PhD students and postdocs
– Establishing Swiss systems biology community

Research cooperation with companies
Hoffmann-LaRoche, Novartis, IBM ZRL, BioVersys, Basilea Pharmaceutica

Dr. Daniel Vonder Mühll
c/o ETH Zurich
Clausiusstrasse 45
CH-8092 Zurich


The Center is a collaborative platform for all interdisciplinary issues related to transplantation. It hosts the largest transplant program in Switzerland, including hematopoietic stem cells, kidney, pancreas, liver, heart, lung, small bowel, islet cells, and composite tissues (build-up phase). Research activities are embedded in specific transplant programs and within the SNSF-sponsored Swiss Transplant Cohort Study.

Key competences
– Comprehensive clinical care of the donor and the recipient
– Innovative research in the laboratory and translational setting, including clinical trials
– Multidisciplinary approach

Research cooperation with companies
all pharmaceutical companies involved in transplantation

MD Nicolas Mueller
USZ Transplant Center
Division of Infectious Diseases
and Hospital Epidemiology
Rämistrasse 100
CH-8091 Zurich


The PSC is a competence center linking and supporting the plant science research community of the UZH, ETH Zurich, and the University of Basel. We promote fundamental and applied research, innovation, and targeted outreach in the plant sciences. We provide platforms for interactions with peers, policy makers, industry, and stakeholders and offer funding for fellowships.

Key competences
– Collaborative research
– Policy dialogue and societal relevance
– Stakeholder and public engagement
– Fellowship and education programs
– Innovative core content and skills training for PhDs and postdocs

Research cooperation with companies
Syngenta International AG, Bayer Crop Science, Photon Systems Instruments

Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center
c/o ETH Zurich
Universitätstrasse 2
CH-8092 Zurich


The Zurich Center for Interdisciplinary Sleep Research (ZiS) was established as a network of excellence in sleep medicine, sleep research, and chronobiology. It unifies 15 active research groups. The mission of the ZiS is to foster and integrate new knowledge about sleep-associated functions as a promising medical field and to secure Zurich’s position as an international leader in this innovative and highly competitive area of neuroscience.

Key competences
– Highly interdisciplinary approach employing state-of-the-art techniques and analysis tools of basic sleep and chronobiology research, pharmacology, neurology, pneumology, psychiatry, psychology, and pediatrics
– Translation of basic research findings into clinical application
– Making novel research findings available to patients and the public

Manuela Steinauer
c/o USZ
Department of Neurology
Frauenklinikstrasse 26
CH-8091 Zurich