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Archive All Articles 2020

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  • UZH COVID-19 Vaccination Center

    «It always seems impossible, until it's done»

    Jan Fehr and his team have set up the first reference vaccination center for the canton of Zurich. Vaccinations started on Monday. In our interview, the head of UZH’s Public and Global Health Department talks about some of the personnel and logistical challenges involved in establishing the new center.
  • Genetic Engineering without Unwanted Side-Effects Helps Fight Parasites

    Modified CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing scissors are enabling researchers at UZH to make alterations to the genetic material of single-cell organisms that are indistinguishable from natural mutations. This method is making it possible to develop a (harmless) experimental live vaccine for the widespread parasite Toxoplasma gondii.
  • How Nearby Galaxies Form their Stars

    How stars form in galaxies remains a major open question in astrophysics. A new UZH study sheds new light on this topic with the help of a data-driven re-analysis of observational measurements. The star-formation activity of typical, nearby galaxies is found to scale proportionally with the amount of gas present in these galaxies. This points to the net gas supply from cosmic distances as the main driver of galactic star formation.
  • Brain Stem Cells Divide over Months

    For the first time, scientists at the University of Zurich have been able to observe stem cells in the adult mouse brain that divide over the course of several months to create new nerve cells. The study shows that brain stem cells are active over a long period, and thus provides new insights for stem cell research.
  • Christmas 2020

    O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

    Christmas is just around the corner, which of course means that fir trees and Christmassy floral displays are once again finding their way into our homes. We spoke with Peter Enz, director of UZH’s Botanical Garden, and asked him about the ideal Christmas tree and what poinsettias have to do with Advent. The UZH News team wishes you happy holidays!
  • UZH Magazin and New Podcast

    Having Children

    Stroke of fate or heart’s desire – thanks to advances in reproductive medicine, people who in the past may have remained childless can now have children. The new UZH Magazin takes a look at the possibilities opened up by medical progress and the accompanying technical, ethical and legal boundaries. And in our brand new German-language podcast to accompany the magazine, we talk to three researchers whose research focuses on these topics.
  • Female Language Style Promotes Visibility and Influence Online

    A female-typical language style promotes the popularity of talks in the digital context and turns out to be an underappreciated but highly effective tool for social influence. This was shown by UZH psychologists in an international study in which they analyzed 1,100 TED Talks.
  • Graduation

    The University of Zurich applauds the class of 2020. Congratulations, graduates!

    The University of Zurich applauds the class of 2020.
  • COVID-19 Edition of the Science Barometer Switzerland: People Seek Stronger Voice for Science on Pandemic Issues

    The people of Switzerland have confirmed their faith in science in the present COVID-19 pandemic. They would like to see scientists contributing their expertise more vigorously to the public and political debate. And most of them believe that political decisions on dealing with the pandemic should be based on scientific findings and foundations. The views are reflected in the COVID-19 edition of the Science Barometer Switzerland, which is produced by UZH’s Department of Communication and Media Research (IKMZ) in collaboration with the University of Münster, Germany.
  • Digitalization Initiative of the Zurich Higher Education Institutions

    DIZH Picking Up Steam

    In the next 10 years, the joint digitalization initiative by Zurich’s higher education institutions aims to explore the effects and opportunities of digitalization and develop innovative technologies. The initiative is now gradually taking shape, and the first round of calls for research and innovation projects has been launched.
  • Office Vice President Research

    Elisabeth Stark Nominated as New Vice President Research

    The UZH Senate nominated Professor Elisabeth Stark for the position of Vice President Research at its meeting on 10 December 2020. The Board of the University will finalize her appointment on 21 January 2021.
  • Equal Pay Analysis 2020

    Equal Pay Maintained at UZH

    At UZH, women earn practically the same as men who hold comparable roles. This is one of the findings of this year’s equal pay analysis, which was based on 11,200 data sets.
  • Sustainable UZH

    Roadmap for a Carbon-Neutral Future

    UZH aims to be a carbon-neutral institution in 10 years. The 2030 Implementation Strategy for the Sustainability Policy defines how this is to be achieved. We sat down with Lorenz Hilty, the UZH sustainability delegate, to talk about virtual conferences, sustainable research and making a peace deal with nature.
  • Digitalization

    “In-Person Classroom Teaching Is Irreplaceable”

    The coronavirus pandemic has made us aware of the potential and limitations of working and studying digitally. UZH President Michael Schaepman and UZH Chief Information Officer Thomas Sutter talk about cyber risks, accelerated administration and online education.
  • New UZH Journal

    UZH in Times of Corona

    The University of Zurich is doing its utmost to ensure that students can complete the semester as normal despite the coronavirus. In our interview, President Michael Schaepman and Deputy President Gabriele Siegert talk about their day-to-day business and what challenges the pandemic has brought.
  • ERC Consolidator Grant: vier Millionen Euro für UZH-Forschende

    Two researchers from the University of Zurich have been awarded lucrative Consolidator Grants. The European Research Council has awarded funds to Prof. Judith Burkart for her research on interdependence between humans and apes during human evolution. Equally awarded is Prof. Jason P. Holland for his project that will harness photochemical reactions to make new combinations of drugs.
  • “We don’t want to see a coronavirus generation”

    In this interview, UZH President Michael Schaepman and Deputy President Gabriele Siegert state unequivocally that the university is doing everything in its power to enable students to complete the Fall Semester as normal. The university is well set up for digital teaching in technological terms; on the personnel side, however, it’s reaching its limits.
  • Depression therapy

    Adrift on the Ocean

    Psilocybin, the active ingredient found in certain mushrooms, expands the boundaries of the self and reduces anxiety. Psychiatrist Franz X. Vollenweider wants to harness this effect to treat patients suffering from depression.
  • Natural Selection also Increases the Adaptability of Organism

    Natural selection causes organisms to adapt continuously. Researchers at the University of Zurich now show for the first time that proteins in bacteria develop a new property more rapidly when the selection pressure is high. Natural selection can thus also increase the evolutionary capacity itself.
  • Autobiography

    Midwife of One’s Own Story

    When we reminisce, we are working on our own sense of self. The older we get, the more we remember things in a positive light and rewrite our life story for the better.
  • Epigenetics

    “Health is inherited”

    According to Isabelle Mansuy’s research, the epigenome – which can switch our genes on and off – can be modified, positively or negatively, by our lifestyle choices. At least some of these modifications are passed down through the generations.
  • Coronavirus Research

    Sich selbst und andere schützen

    In the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, epidemiologist Milo Puhan, virologist Alexandra Trkola and immunologist Onur Boyman were able to quickly start research on the novel coronavirus thanks to UZH’s Pandemic Fund. Now, in the second wave, they tell us what they have achieved so far in our video series.
  • Wheat Diversity Due to Cross-Hybridization with Wild Grasses

    Bread wheat can grow in highly diverse regional environments. An important reason for its great genetic variety is the cross-hybridization with many chromosome fragments from wild grasses. This is shown by the genome sequences of 10 wheat varieties from four continents, which an international consortium including researchers from the University of Zurich has now decoded.
  • New Library Management System

    New Library Research Portal

    Starting on 7 December, members of the UZH community will be able to access the collections of 475 university-related libraries. Users will need to create new accounts to use the service. UZH News has rounded up everything you need to know.
  • NMR spectroscopy


    The new chemistry department building on the Irchel Campus will house the very latest in NMR spectroscopy technology. The equipment, which costs CHF 13.5 million, is being acquired together with ETH Zurich and the University of Basel.
  • Origins of the E.G. Bührle Art Collection

    Art and Armaments

    A study led by UZH historian Matthieu Leimgruber shows how Zurich industrialist Emil Bührle became the richest man in Switzerland and how he built up his art collection. Leimgruber concludes that Bührle’s Oerlikon-based arms company allowed him to buy art on a grand scale. And he was no outsider, but rather a well-integrated member of the Zurich elite.
  • Honey – Staple Food and Indigenous Cultural Asset

    A new exhibition in the Ethnographic Museum of the University of Zurich delves into the recent history of the Ayoréode, a nomadic people in the forests of Bolivia, who have had to adapt to settled life for decades. How are they preserving their knowledge of wild bees that is passed down orally? How are they developing their skills in their new living environment? Everyday artifacts and voices from the indigenous community shine a light on what happens when two very different world views and ways of life collide.
  • Covid-19 Drive-In Test Center Dübendorf

    A Testing Lab on the Airfield

    The UZH Space Hub is supporting the new coronavirus drive-in test center managed by Balgrist University Hospital. The Space Hub director Oliver Ullrich and his team have set up a test laboratory at the military airfield in Dübendorf and are coordinating teams of UZH students to provide assistance. Starting this week, the center is also offering rapid antigen tests.
  • Prehistoric Shark Hid Its Largest Teeth

    Some, if not all, early sharks that lived 300 to 400 million years ago not only dropped their lower jaws downward but rotated them outwards when opening their mouths. This enabled them to make the best of their largest, sharpest and inward-facing teeth when catching prey, paleontologists at the Universities of Zurich and Chicago have now shown using CT scanning and 3D printing.
  • The Rise of Emil Bührle as an Industrialist and Art Collector

    A new study by UZH professor Matthieu Leimgruber, commissioned by the City and Canton of Zurich, charts the rise of Emil Bührle to become an industrialist, international art collector and member of the Zurich elite. It is the first time that the links between arms, money and art have been studied together.
  • University Medicine Zurich

    Viruses That Heal

    At its annual event, the University Medicine Zurich initiative presented its new flagship project ImmunoPhage: a groundbreaking endeavor that aims to develop bacteriophages for treating urinary tract infections.
  • Art History

    “Photography is highly political”

    UZH art historian Bettina Gockel is an expert in the history of photography and investigates techniques of color photography. Her research has yielded some surprising insights.
  • Vitamin D und Omega-3-Fettsäuren fördern Gesundheit in Untergruppen von aktiven älteren Menschen

    The DO-HEALTH study led by Zurich-based geriatrician Professor Heike Bischoff-Ferrari has examined the effects of simple measures on the health of healthy adults aged 70 or older. Initial analyses suggest that vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and strength-training exercises do not significantly improve bone health, leg function and memory. Nevertheless, certain groups of people could still benefit from these measures.
  • Honorary Doctorate for Andrea Büchler

    Not Looking Away From Difficult Situations

    Diversity is the barometer of our freedom, says UZH legal scholar Andrea Büchler. She was granted an honorary doctorate in September by the University of Vienna for her outstanding and courageous academic contributions.
  • US Elections 2020

    US Elections

    Voters in the US have cast their ballots, but it’s still too close to call who will ultimately win the White House. We’ve asked two UZH political scientists, Marco Steenbergen and Jonathan Slapin, about their take on the elections.
  • Host Genetic Factors Shape Composition of Virus Communities

    Plants can be infected by multiple viruses at once. However, the composition of the pathogen community varies, even if individuals belong to the same species and the same population. Ecologists at the University of Zurich have now shown that these differences are primarily due to genetic variation among the hosts. The loss of genetic diversity could thus render species more vulnerable to infections and extinction.
  • 150 Years University Hospital of Psychiatry Zurich

    “Worms don’t develop schizophrenia”

    The University Hospital of Psychiatry Zurich is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. The hospital, often referred to as the “Burghölzli”, has a rich and varied past. Paul Hoff, deputy director of the Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, looks back on historical developments in psychiatric care, with a focus on the doctor-patient relationship.
  • Neurosciences

    The Mind and the Body

    The development of our consciousness and sense of self is closely linked to how we perceive our body.
  • Musicology

    Singing with the Maestro

    The composer Paul Hindemith worked as an unconventional professor at UZH in the 1950s. His archives, which document his many-faceted oeuvre, have now been donated to the Department of Musicology.
  • Swiss Fatalism Protects Against Negative Feelings in the Pandemic

    Trust or disappointment in government crisis management is an important factor for the general mood, shows a study by the University of Zurich based on surveys in Israel and Switzerland. At the end of April, Israelis were twice as disappointed with their government institutions during the pandemic as Swiss citizens. In Switzerland, a certain fatalism made for less negative feelings.
  • Corona Crisis Increases Media Usage, Reduces Revenues

    In times of uncertainty, people increasingly return to traditional news media. This increased usage has not, however, resulted in additional revenues. On the contrary, advertising budgets have plummeted and people’s willingness to pay for online news remains low. New payment models are required and direct subsidies for the media industry seem to be inevitable, according to the Yearbook Quality of the Media 2020 published by the UZH Research Center for the Public Sphere and Society (fög).
  • Vision Campus Irchel 2050

    “A complete overview of what’s going on”

    The high-tech building for chemists is almost finished, and the design plan for expanding Irchel Campus is about to be approved. François Chapuis, Vice President Real Estate and Facility Management of UZH, talks about what’s going on on campus – before and behind the scenes.
  • Evolutionary Biology

    New Blooms from the Uri Alps

    Evolutionary biologist Kentaro Shimizu gathers flowers from a Swiss alpine meadow and cultivates Japanese wheat in a garden on UZH’s Irchel Campus. He wants to find out how plants are adapting to climate change.
  • Multiple Sclerosis as the Flip Side of Immune Fitness

    About half of the people with multiple sclerosis have the HLA-DR15 gene variant. A study led by the University of Zurich has now shown how this genetic predisposition contributes to the development of the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis in combination with environmental factors. The decisive factor is the shaping of a repertoire of immune cells which – although they are effective in fighting off pathogens such as Epstein-Barr virus – also attack brain tissue.
  • Cognitive Elements of Language Have Existed for 40 Million Years

    Humans are not the only beings that can identify rules in complex language-like constructions – monkeys and great apes can do so, too, a study at the University of Zurich has shown. Researchers at the Department of Comparative Language Science of UZH used a series of experiments based on an ‘artificial grammar’ to conclude that this ability can be traced back to our ancient primate ancestors.
  • Emotions Research

    Investigating the Consequences of Child Abuse in Different Countries

    Psychologist Monique Pfaltz researches the socio-emotional consequences of abuse and neglect in childhood. She recently launched an international initiative to carry out transcultural and transnational research projects.
  • Early Trauma Influences Metabolism Across Generations

    A study by the Brain Research Institute at UZH reveals that early trauma leads to changes in blood metabolites – similarly in mice and humans. Experiments with mice have show that these potentially harmful effects on health are also passed to the next generation. The researchers have identified a biological mechanism by which traumatic experiences become embedded in germ cells.
  • “We’re open. Are you?”

    Open Science Requires a Cultural Transformation

    To mark the start of International Open Access Week, UZH is launching the topic through an internal campaign and the rollout of the new Open Science Office website. The co-heads of the office, Manuela Höfler and Katherine Hermans, explain why open access in science is so important.
  • Communication and Media Research

    Haarsträubende Geschichten

    Disinformation is increasingly permeating our everyday news. But why does it spread more easily in some places than in others? Edda Humprecht knows what makes countries resistant to fake news.
  • In the Spotlight

    Die Unermüdliche

    Over the past months, Alexandra Trkola, head of the Institute of Medical Virology at UZH, has been showing her mettle as a researcher and communicator.
  • Central Asian Horse Riders Played Ball Games 3,000 Years Ago

    UZH researchers have investigated ancient leather balls discovered in the graves of horse riders in northwest China. According to the international research team, they are around 3,000 years old, making them the oldest balls in Eurasia. The find suggests amongst others that the mounted warriors of Central Asia played ball games to keep themselves fit.
  • Graduate Campus

    Clear Criteria for Authorship

    Academic authorship was the theme of this year’s Graduate Campus event. An expert panel discussed the subject from a variety of perspectives.
  • Identity

    Without Acne for Once

    Duck face and six pack: Young people’s selfies say less about them than they do about the norms they are subject to.
  • My Alma Mater

    “I love to be creative in a theoretical way”

    Salome Hohl, art historian, curator and recently-appointed director of Zurich’s Cabaret Voltaire, looks back on her UZH student days.
  • Nobel Prize in Chemistry

    UZH celebrates

    UZH researcher Martin Jinek is particularly pleased about this year's Nobel Prize for Chemistry. The biochemist made a major contribution to the development of the CRISPR-Cas9 genetic scissors, for which Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna have now been honored with the prestigious award.
  • Evolution in Action: New Plant Species at Urnerboden

    A new plant species named "Cardamine insueta" appeared in the region of Urnerboden in the Swiss alps, after the land has changed from forest to grassland over the last 150 years. The inheritance of two key traits from its parent plants enabled the newly emerged species to grow in a distinct environmental niche, as researches from the University of Zurich now show.
  • Identity

    Me, Myself and I

    Role models and biological factors shape who we are. But our selves change throughout our lives. Over time, it is not only our appearance, our relationships and our circumstances that change, our identity changes too – and yet we feel we are still the same.
  • Woodpeckers’ Drumming: Conserved Meaning Despite Different Structure over the Years

    How do animals produce and perceive biological information in sounds? To what extent does the acoustic structure and its associated meaning change during evolution? An international team led by the University of Zurich and the University of Saint-Etienne reconstructed the evolutionary history of an animal communication system, focusing on drumming signals of woodpeckers.
  • New UZH Magazin

    How We Become Who We Are

    Who am I? This is a question we ask ourselves throughout our lives. To answer it, we look to role models, create our own narratives and take selfies that show how we want to be seen. The new UZH Magazin explores aspects of our identity.
  • Gender Medicine

    Women's Hearts Age Differently

    Cardiologist Catherine Gebhard’s research focuses on why certain diseases affect women and men differently. For the gender medicine pioneer, the corona pandemic is both a textbook example and a call for action at the same time.
  • 35th Anniversary of the Senior Citizens University

    Birthday Year Rings in the Changes

    The Senior Citizens University of Zurich has had a busy anniversary year. Despite coronavirus, it is continuing to offer high-quality education for older people. From this semester, members can take part in live online lectures and connect with each other using a newly developed portal.
  • Zurich and slavery

    The city of Zurich supported slavery and slave trade in the 18th century financially and played a role in the deportation of thousands of Africans. Moreover, the city was linked to slavery through the cotton industry, as a study by historians of the University of Zurich shows.
  • Start of the semester

    “Things will be more routine and we’ll all be more confident”

    This Fall Semester will be particularly challenging for all UZH members – for students just as much as for instructors and everyone else working for the university. In this interview Gabriele Siegert, Deputy President and Vice President Education and Student Affairs, answers questions related to the start of the semester.
  • Covid-19

    «Communicate uncertainties»

    Never before has science been in the public limelight more than it is now because of Covid-19. Can it benefit from this? Communications researcher Mark Eisenegger and epidemiologist Milo Puhan discuss the gain in prestige, but also what’s at stake.
  • Post-Lockdown: No Clustering of Coronavirus Infections in Zurich Schools prior to Summer Break

    The University of Zurich tested 2,500 schoolchildren in the Canton of Zurich to determine if they were infected during the period between the onset of the novel coronavirus and early June 2020. The preliminary results show that in the first stage of testing prior to the summer break, there was no clustering of coronavirus infections in schools in the Canton of Zurich. Moreover, children presenting typical COVID-19 symptoms did not test positive for antibodies more frequently than children without such symptoms did.
  • UZH Journal

    Research-Related Career Paths

    For the latest Journal, we asked UZH alumni and alumnae about how they get to put their academic knowledge into practice in their day-to-day work. In addition, epidemiologist Milo Puhan and communications researcher Mark Eisenegger discuss how the coronavirus pandemic is reshaping the relationship between science, politics and the public.
  • Biology

    Prestigious award for pioneer of proteomics

    Ruedi Aebersold, a professor of molecular systems biology at UZH and ETH Zurich, is to receive the Swiss Science Prize Marcel Benoist. Aebersold is being honored for the part he has played in founding and advancing the field of proteomics, a branch of biology that is seen as the foundation of the personalized medicine of tomorrow.
  • Physiology

    Maternal Elixir

    Mothers' milk has always been subject to superstitious beliefs and questions. How long should mothers breastfeed? What if it doesn't work? UZH human biologist Thierry Hennet's aim is to find rational arguments, and to identify how breastmilk protects babies from infections.
  • Reprogramming Brain Cells Enables Flexible Decision-Making

    Humans, like other animals, have the ability to constantly adapt to new situations. Researchers at the Brain Research Institute of the University of Zurich have utilized a mouse model to reveal which neurons in the brain are in command in guiding adaptive behavior. Their new study contributes to our understanding of decision-making processes in healthy and infirm people.
  • Part-time Leadership and Management

    Part-time employment benefits research

    Professor Stefanie Walter reduced her workload to better balance her professional and private life. She talks about her positive experience with the project on part-time leadership duties, which UZH launched as part of the Gender Equality Action Plan 2017–20.
  • Swiss Dinosaur Skeleton to Become Museum’s Latest Showpiece

    The University of Zurich’s Zoological and Paleontological Museum will soon be home to a new attraction that literally cannot be missed: A nearly eight-meter-long plateosaurus will greet visitors to the museum starting on 15 September. The fossil, which dates back over 200 million years, was excavated in the town of Frick in 2018. The skeleton will be accompanied by a detailed reconstruction of the creature in its original size.
  • Fall Semester 2020 Ringvorlesungen

    Lectures on Humans, Health and Pestalozzi’s Legacy

    The University of Zurich’s latest round of public Ringvorlesungen explores what it means to be human, education in the age of technology, health in a digital society, and gender in the Middle Ages. The lecture series kicks off on 15 September.
  • More Online Teaching for More Students at UZH

    In the upcoming Fall Semester around 28,100 students will be matriculated at the University of Zurich. The numbers have increased for both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs. Courses will be delivered with a mix of online and on-site classes.
  • UZH Start-Up

    Teaching More Efficiently

    A University of Zurich start-up has developed an innovative learning and assessment platform for teachers. Thanks to the platform’s cutting-edge technology, teaching staff can individualize and mark exams through an automated process.
  • Georg Friedrich Götz Award

    Georg Friedrich Götz Award

    Cancer researcher and physician Steffen Böttcher from the Medical Oncology and Hematology Clinic, and neuroscientist Silvia Brem from the University Hospital of Psychiatry Zurich, have been presented with the Georg Friedrich Götz Award. The prize is awarded annually for outstanding contributions in the field of medical research.
  • International Relations

    “Not only fostering quality, but making it visible as well”

    In August Christian Simm, the founder of the Swiss swissnex network in the United States, took over as the head of the International Relations Office. In this interview with UZH News he explains why he believes UZH could be doing a lot to gain greater international influence and recognition.
  • Medicine

    Comprehensive Cancer Center

    Around 40,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in Switzerland every year. In this interview with UZH News, Markus Manz, the new chair of the Comprehensive Cancer Center Zurich (CCCZ), explains why he’s convinced that close collaboration between clinicians and researchers will give a renewed boost to efforts to develop innovative approaches in cancer medicine.
  • Young Researchers Win 4.5 Million Euros in Funding

    Three scholars from the University of Zurich will receive support from the European Union’s valuable ERC Starting Grants. The three young researchers will thus have the funds to carry out their ground-breaking projects on motherhood and the labor market, on visualization of neurotransmitter dynamics in the brain, and on the role of religious art in the early modern age of globalization.
  • Evolution

    The harsher the environment, the more help parents receive

    Cooperative childcare is essential for us humans. It allowed us to evolve larger brains, to better learn from one another, and to be more social. But why did human evolution take this course?
  • Graduate Campus


    The goal of the Graduate Campus is to create the best possible framework for junior researchers. Ulrike Müller-Böker, who directed the Graduate Campus from August 2016 to July 2020, and departmental head Claudine Leysinger take stock and look ahead.
  • How Plants Close their Gates when Microbes Attack

    Like humans, plants protect themselves against pathogens. An international consortium under the lead of UZH professor Cyril Zipfel has now identified a long sought-after factor of this plant immune system: The calcium channel triggers the closure of stomata upon contact with microbes such as bacteria. This innate defense mechanism could help to engineer crop plants that are resistant to pathogens.
  • Botany

    Plethora of Plants

    The herbaria of the University of Zurich and ETH house many historical plant discoveries, some of which are up to 300 years old. Now the paper-mounted plant samples are being digitized and made available for global use – in large part thanks to the work of committed volunteers.
  • Research Integrity

    Assuring Transparency and Fairness

    UZH’s new integrity ordinance enters into force on 1 September 2020. It defines scientific misconduct and how to deal with it, with a particular emphasis on preventing misconduct by means of training and education.
  • University Research Priority Programs

    “An ideal funding instrument”

    Starting in 2021, UZH will be launching five new University Research Priority Programs (URPP), bringing the collaborative interdisciplinary initiative into its third generation. We sat down with Vice President Medicine Beatrice Beck Schimmer to learn more about the success of the program.
  • Covid-19 Survey

    Most 22-Year-Olds Followed FOPH Recommendations

    The long-term study z-proso has examined the effects the coronavirus pandemic has had on the lives of young adults in Zurich. On the whole, the pandemic has been a challenging time for the around 700 participants, whose daily lives were at times thrown into disarray. Nevertheless, many of the young adults were able to adopt positive ways of dealing with the difficulties.
  • Unique vaccine approach

    Spores to Help Combat Coronavirus

    Virologist Cornel Fraefel hopes a novel vaccine technique will help control Sars-CoV-2. The Swiss National Science Foundation has awarded him a grant to fund the remarkable project.
  • UZH lanciert fünf neue Universitäre Forschungsschwerpunkte

    The University of Zurich is introducing five new University Research Priority Programs focusing on equal opportunities, human reproduction, rare diseases, digital religions and basic principles of learning. With these programs, UZH is opening new avenues for innovative research in areas relevant to our society.
  • Strategic Partnership with Kyoto University

    When Tradition Meets Modernity

    The University of Zurich and Kyoto University are entering into a strategic partnership. Japan’s second-oldest university and UZH are stepping up their cooperation in research and teaching and increasing efforts to support junior academics.
  • Syphilis May Have Spread through Europe before Columbus

    Columbus brought syphilis to Europe – or did he? A recent study conducted at the University of Zurich now indicates that Europeans could already have been infected with this sexually transmitted disease before the 15th century. In addition, researchers have discovered a hitherto unknown pathogen causing a related disease. The predecessor of syphilis and its related diseases could be over 2,500 years old.
  • UZH-Spin-off

    Precision Predictions for Hydropower Plants

    The UZH spin-off ExoLabs has developed a model that can predict snowmelt and help hydropower operators generate energy more efficiently. The innovative business idea has now won the funding and support of the European Union.
  • UZH Journal 2/20

    On Thin Ice

    Our glaciers are melting. Glaciologist Michael Zemp believes that a reduction in air travel among the scientific community is inevitable.
  • Trustful Collaboration Critical for Outcome of Therapy

    A trusting therapeutic relationship and outcome-oriented collaboration between therapist and patient are critical for the successful treatment of mental illness. And it pays to start early in therapy, a series of meta-studies by a task force of the American Psychological Association (APA) led by UZH psychology professor Christoph Flückiger shows.
  • Library

    University Library Zurich Gets Its First Director

    Rudolf Mumenthaler will be the first director of the new University Library Zurich (UBZH) when it opens its doors on 1 January 2022. He will take an active role setting up the new library from 1 January 2021.
  • Cornerstones of UZH's New Governance Structure

    No other university in Switzerland is quite as diverse as UZH, which is home to almost the entire spectrum of academic disciplines. In order to accommodate this diversity even better in the future, the seven faculties at UZH will be given a greater say in their own affairs starting in August 2020.
  • Long Neck Helped Reptile Hunt Underwater

    Its neck was three times as long as its torso, but had only thirteen extremely elongated vertebrae: "Tanystropheus", a bizarre giraffe-necked reptile which lived 242 million years ago, is a paleontological absurdity. A new study led by the University of Zurich has now shown that the creature lived in water and was surprisingly adaptable.
  • New Guinea Has the World’s Richest Island Flora

    New Guinea is the most floristically diverse island in the world, an international collaboration led by the University of Zurich has shown. The study presents a list of almost 14,000 plant species, compiled from online catalogues and verified by plant experts. The results are invaluable for research and conservation, and also underline the importance of expert knowledge in the digital era.
  • Relatively High-Quality Reporting on Coronavirus Pandemic

    In times of crisis, the media plays a particularly important role. Reporting was of a relatively high quality during the coronavirus pandemic, a study by the University of Zurich has shown. Some deficits, however, were found in the use of figures and statistics. In addition, many media outlets were not critical enough during the sensitive phase before the lockdown.
  • Hedonism Leads to Happiness

    Relaxing on the sofa or savoring a delicious meal: Enjoying short-term pleasurable activities that don’t lead to long-term goals contributes at least as much to a happy life as self-control, according to new research from the University of Zurich and Radboud University in the Netherlands. The researchers therefore argue for a greater appreciation of hedonism in psychology.
  • Big Brains and Dexterous Hands

    Primates with large brains can master more complex hand movements than those with smaller brains. However, fine motor skills such as using tools can take time to learn, and humans take the longest of all. Large-brained species such as humans and great apes do not actually learn more slowly than other primates but instead start later, researchers at the University of Zurich have shown.
  • Conversation with the new President

    “Giving people room for creativity”

    Encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration, streamlining regulations, and giving people the freedom to research: These are some of the goals Michael Schaepman hopes to achieve as new UZH President.
  • Summer Break

    Next Stop Olten

    Spending your summer vacation in Switzerland is an obvious choice this year. We asked a historian, a geographer, an ecologist as well as a religious studies and a cultural studies expert to name intriguing getaways in Switzerland. With this, the UZH News team is off into the summer break. We hope you enjoy your summer!
  • President ad interim

    Thank you Gabriele Siegert!

    When Michael Hengartner stepped down, Gabriele Siegert took over the presidency of UZH on an interim basis on 1 February 2020. In two weeks, Michael Schaepman will take office as the new president on 1 August. The six months in between were quite a rollercoaster ride. Seven members of UZH look back.
  • Predicting the Biodiversity of Rivers

    Biodiversity and thus the state of river ecosystems can now be predicted by combining environmental DNA with hydrological methods, researchers from the University of Zurich and Eawag have found. Using the river Thur as an example, the approach allows areas requiring conservation to be identified in order to initiate protective measures.
  • International Summer Schools

    Education Without Borders

    The UZH International Summer Schools for Bachelor’s and Master’s students from around the world are currently taking place for the third time. The difference this year is that they are taking place entirely online. Students from a total of 54 different universities will learn about Switzerland, blockchain and more.
  • Blueprint of Oxytocin Receptor Facilitates Development of New Autism Drugs

    Oxytocin plays a role in various mental health and sexual reproduction disorders. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now determined the three-dimensional structure of the oxytocin receptor to which the hormone binds. This knowledge could promote the development of novel drugs to treat a variety of diseases.
  • Minor BioMed Entrepreneurship

    Acquiring Business Skills Early On

    An innovative new minor is imparting business knowledge to Master’s students in the life sciences. The program aims to give students earlier access to the tools they need to translate academic research into marketable products and business concepts.
  • Portrait

    Blazing a Trail

    Uschi Backes-Gellner advises the German government on employment matters and researches vocational education and training here in Switzerland. Her own father was a bricklayer.
  • Bird Diversity in the Swiss Alps in Decline

    The diversity of bird communities in the Swiss Alps is declining more and more, a joint study of the University of Zurich and the Swiss Ornithological Institute has found. An analysis of data from the past two decades has revealed a loss of functional and compositional diversity in Alpine bird communities. This trend is likely connected to rising temperatures and changes in land use.
  • How Venus Flytraps Snap

    Venus flytraps catch spiders and insects by snapping their trap leaves. This mechanism is activated when unsuspecting prey touch highly sensitive trigger hairs twice within 30 seconds. A study led by researchers at the University of Zurich has now shown that a single slow touch also triggers trap closure – probably to catch slow-moving larvae and snails.
  • Medicine

    Space Bones

    Microgravity in space could help us manufacture human tissue. Researchers at the UZH Space Hub sent stem cells to the International Space Station (ISS) to explore this idea. The samples have now returned to earth.
  • Restoring Vision Through Electrical Stimulation

    In a project under Horizon 2020, researchers from seven European organizations will examine how the vision of visually impaired people can be restored using electrical stimulation of the brain. The project is being coordinated by the University of Zurich and supported by the European Union with funding of 4 million euros.
  • Economic History

    Launchpads to Prosperity

    The plague claimed countless victims in the Middle Ages and early modern period. According to economist Joachim Voth, it also made Europe rich.
  • 1.5 Billion People Will Depend on Water from Mountains

    Global water consumption has increased almost fourfold in the past 100 years, and many regions can only meet their water demand thanks to essential contributions from mountain regions. In 30 years, almost a quarter of the world’s lowland population will strongly depend on runoff from the mountains. Only sustainable development can ensure the important function of mountain areas as Earth’s “water towers”.
  • Nomination

    Michael Schaepman als neuer Rektor der UZH vorgeschlagen

    The Senate of the University of Zurich has nominated Michael Schaepman as the new president. Michael Schaepman is professor of remote sensing and current Vice President Research. The election of the president by the Board of the University will take place on 9 July 2020.
  • President Nomination

    The University Senate has nominated Professor Michael Schaepman as the new president of UZH. Michael Schaepman is professor of remote sensing and current Vice President Research. The election of the president by the Board of the University will take place on 9 July 2020.
  • UBS Extends Its Engagement with the University of Zurich

    UBS will donate approximately 25 million francs over the next 10 years to continue the UBS Center for Economics in Society at the University of Zurich, extending its engagement until 2032.
  • Literary Studies

    Smoked Sermon, Anyone?

    Asger Jorn (1914-1973) achieved fame with his wild expressionist paintings filled with strange, wondrous creatures. But the Danish artist also made books into artworks and produced subversive theories of language. Nordic expert Klaus Müller-Wille has been taking a closer look.
  • Solidarity

    Solidarity – a Fickle Lover

    In crises like the current one, values such as solidarity are in high demand. But acting with solidarity does not come naturally to us, especially when we have to keep it up over a long period, say sociologist Heiko Rauhut and psychologist Johannes Ullrich.
  • Faculty of Science

    Researchers MNF

    Specialists in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are in high demand. A good thing then that these so-called STEM subjects are a popular choice among young people. And yet, this positive development presents the Faculty of Science of UZH with a number of challenges, as MNF Dean Roland Sigel explains in an interview.
  • Dolphins Learn in Similar Ways to Great Apes

    Dolphins learn new foraging techniques not just from their mothers, but also from their peers, a study by the University of Zurich has found. More than 1,000 bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Western Australia were observed over 10 years and found to have cultural behavior that is similar to great apes.
  • Genetic Malfunction of Brain Astrocytes Triggers Migraine

    Neuroscientists of the University of Zurich shed a new light on the mechanisms responsible for familial migraine: They show that a genetic dysfunction in specific brain cells of the cingulate cortex area strongly influences head pain occurrence.
  • International Relations Office

    Joining Forces

    The University of Zurich and Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin are entering into a strategic partnership. This will enable Zurich and Berlin to step up cooperation in medical research and teaching. The first joint priority area is digitalization in medicine.
  • Neuroeconomics

    Giving Makes Us Feel Happy

    Generosity entails costs. Its benefit to us, though, is indeterminate. Why are we nonetheless generous toward others? Neuroeconomist Philippe Tobler has peered into the brains of generous people and discovered an answer to that question.
  • Deep Drone Acrobatics

    A navigation algorithm developed at the University of Zurich enables drones to learn challenging acrobatic maneuvers. Autonomous quadcopters can be trained using simulations to increase their speed, agility and efficiency, which benefits conventional search and rescue operations.
  • Racism

    Making Their Voices Heard

    Katja Rost, professor of sociology and president of the Gender Equality Commission, gives her view on the ongoing debate about racism and the role of universities. .
  • Decide Now or Wait for Something Better?

    When we make decisions, we don’t always have all options available to choose from at the same time. Instead they often come one after another, as for example when we search for an apartment or a flight ticket. So we have to decide on something without knowing if a better option might have come along later. A study at the University of Zurich has shown that our standards drop more and more in the course of decision-making.
  • Next Generation Sequencing

    New Method Revolutionizes Corona Testing

    State-of-the-art sequencing technology can analyze billions of DNA fragments in a matter of hours. A group of researchers at the Functional Genomics Center Zurich has demonstrated how this high-speed method can be leveraged to increase coronavirus testing capacities: Hundreds of thousands of samples could be processed each day.
  • Surprising Signal in Dark Matter Detector

    When analyzing data from the XENON1T detector for dark matter, a signal excess was observed. The UZH researchers do not yet know for sure where this unexpected signal comes from. They say the origins could be relatively banal, but they could also indicate the existence of new particles or hitherto unknown properties of neutrinos.
  • Corona and the Future

    Crisis-Proof: Switzerland and the Pandemic

    Now that coronavirus cases are dwindling, the economic fallout of the pandemic is becoming more apparent. One thing is clear: Countries that were well equipped before the crisis – like Switzerland with its social welfare system – will be able to cope better and get back on their feet more quickly.
  • A Flight to Weightlessness from Dübendorf

    The fourth parabolic flight organized by the UZH Space Hub takes off today from Dübendorf airfield. A reorganization taking into account Corona safety measures has made this possible. On board is an experiment that could help to attenuate massive inflammatory reactions of the immune system that happen in severe cases of Covid-19.
  • Resilience

    “Believe in yourself!”

    Optimism, faith and spirituality can help us get through crises. Psychologist Ulrike Ehlert and theologian Thomas Schlag talk about strength and vulnerability, the slowing down of life, and the opportunities that can come out of crises.
  • Research Project "Corona Immunitas"

    Journey out of the Lockdown

    The coronavirus isn't going anywhere anytime soon. As long as there is no vaccine, policymakers need reliable information about the level of infection within the population. Milo Puhan, an epidemiologist at UZH, is leading a national study that investigates this very issue.
  • Human Presence Weakens Social Relationships of Giraffes

    Living close to human settlements disturbs the social networks of giraffes. They have weaker bonds with other giraffes and fewer interactions with other members of the species, an international study led by the University of Zurich on the social structure of over 500 female giraffes in Tanzania has shown.
  • Adapted On-Site Operations at UZH

    «Wir sind vorbereitet»

    Today, UZH returns to adapted on-site operations. What exactly does this mean for employees? Many questions were answered at last week’s virtual town hall meeting.
  • Newly Identified Gene Reduces Pollen Number of Plants

    Producing fewer sperm cells can be advantageous in self-fertilizing plants. An international study led by the University of Zurich has identified a gene in the model plant Arabidopsis that reduces the number of pollen. In addition to supporting the evolutionary theory, these findings could help to optimize plant breeding and domestication in agriculture.
  • UZH Magazin 2/20

    A perfect Virus

    Covid-19 has spread fear and panic all over the world. The question of why this viral disease takes so many different forms is still largely unresolved. What is clear, however, is that international cooperation to manage pandemics will have to be stepped up.
  • Covid-19-Research Projects

    “Can anyone hear me here?”

    How do UZH professors give lectures to an empty room? How have churches gotten through the crisis? The special circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic have raised new questions for research. We present two current projects.
  • UZH Magazin 2/20

    A World Turned Upside Down

    The challenges posed by the coronavirus have exposed our personal strengths and weaknesses as well as those of our society. The new UZH Magazin examines what helps us overcome crises and what we can learn from them.
  • Mapping Immune Cells in Brain Tumors

    It is not always possible to completely remove malignant brain tumors by surgery so that further treatment is necessary. Researchers from the University of Zurich and the UniversityHospital Zurich have now been able to describe, with unparalleled precision, the composition of the immune cells of various types of brain tumors. This will provide an important foundation for future immunotherapy approaches.
  • Computers are not curious

    People and intelligent machines learn in similar ways, says philosopher Hans-Johann Glock. Unlike humans, however, computers do not pursue their own goals – not yet, at least.
  • Increased Usability and Precision in Vascular Imaging

    Researchers at the University of Zurich have developed a new X-ray contrast agent. The contrast agent is easier to use and distributes into all blood vessels more reliably, increasing the precision of vascular imaging. This reduces the number of animals required in research experiments.
  • AI and the Ideal Market

    How Markets Are Getting Smarter

    Computer scientist Sven Seuken uses artificial intelligence to design complex electronic markets that aim to benefit vendors and customers in equal measure.
  • Prehistoric Giant Fish Was a Suspension Feeder

    Scientists from the University of Zurich and the University of Bristol have investigated the jaw mechanics of Titanichthys, a giant armored fish that roamed the seas and oceans of the late Devonian period 380 million years ago. New findings suggest that it fed by swimming through water slowly with its mouth open wide to capture high concentrations of plankton – similar to modern-day basking sharks.
  • AI and Health

    AI and Health

    Artificial intelligence is already commonplace in healthcare, lightening doctors’ workloads and helping them make medical decisions. The legal issues have yet to be resolved, however.
  • Portrait

    In Another Skin

    Virtual reality can immerse you in foreign worlds and let you experience your body in a completely new way. Neuropsychologist Jasmine Ho wants to harness the power of these physical illusions for medical treatments.
  • The Prejudices

    The Secret Life of Algorithms

    Algorithms sort the internet for us. The problem is, no one knows exactly how they decide. Information scientist Anikó Hannák is trying to change this. What she’s finding out in the process offers food for thought.
  • AI and Our Jobs

    Not less work, but different

    Artificial intelligence is changing the way we work. Information scientist Abraham Bernstein predicts that it won’t make us redundant. But there will be new forms of collaboration between humans and machines that will open up new and interesting avenues.
  • KI und Fairness

    Becoming smarter together

    From checking loan applications to selecting job applicants, decisions are increasingly being made with the aid of artificial intelligence. While AI doesn’t make them any fairer, it can make us wiser, says ethicist Markus Christen.
  • More Selective Elimination of Leukemia Stem Cells and Blood Stem Cells

    Hematopoietic stem cells from a healthy donor can help patients suffering from acute leukemia. However, the side effects of therapies are often severe. A group of researchers led by the University of Zurich have now shown how human healthy and cancerous hematopoietic stem cells can be more selectively eliminated using immunotherapy instead of chemotherapy in mice. The aim is to test the new immunotherapy in humans as soon as possible.
  • Covid-19 Research

    Are We Immune Enough?

    There are still many unanswered questions around the coronavirus: How many people in Switzerland are immune? How long does immunity last? And how can high-risk patients be quickly identified and given the best treatment? Three UZH researchers told us in these video interviews about their search for the answers.
  • Universitas 21


    The University of Zurich was supposed to host this year’s meeting of Universitas 21 members on the topic of sustainable universities. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the event has now gone digital.
  • Lipid Metabolism Controls Brain Development

    A lipid metabolism enzyme controls brain stem cell activity and lifelong brain development. If the enzyme does not work correctly, it causes learning and memory deficits in humans and mice, as researchers at the University of Zurich have discovered. Regulating stem cell activity via lipid metabolism could lead to new treatments for brain diseases.
  • History

    What Causes the Downfall of Republics

    The Roman Marcus Tullius Cicero once inspired the founding fathers of the United States. But are his ideas still relevant today, at a time when many Americans fear for their republic?
  • Workers Happy despite Crisis and Uncertainty

    In general, workers in Switzerland and Germany are coping well with the Covid-19 crisis and the associated social disruption. They are feeling happier and finding it easier to unwind and balance work and private life. They are also more engaged at work than last year, a survey among 600 participants carried out by researchers of the University of Zurich shows.
  • Coronavirus Pandemic

    Shopping with Maximilian

    The ShopSensor app determines which shop to go to at specific times to lower the risk of infection with COVID-19. The tool was developed by a PhD candidate at UZH’s Department of Geography in his spare time.
  • Predators Help Prey Adapt to an Uncertain Future

    What effect does extinction of species have on the evolution of surviving species? Evolutionary biologists have investigated this question by conducting a field experiment with a leaf galling fly and its predatory enemies. They found that losing its natural enemies could make it more difficult for the prey to adapt to future environments.
  • High Cost of Cancer Drugs Not Always Justified

    Do high prices of some cancer medicines have a higher benefit than those drugs with lower prices? An international UZH study has concluded that, in general, there is no correlation between costs of a cancer drugs and their clinical benefit. The researchers are therefore calling for the clinical benefit of drugs to be better reflected in pricing
  • Drama, Psyche, Soma

    Medicine as entertainment, mental anguish expressed in the body: Literature scholar Sophie Witt researches the fascinating history of the links between theater and psychosomatic medicine.
  • Dramatic Loss of Food Plants for Insects

    The diversity of food plants for insects in the canton of Zurich has dramatically decreased over the past 100 years or so. This means that bees, flies and butterflies are increasingly deprived of their food base, a team of researchers from the Universities of Bonn and Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL has demonstrated. The results are transferable to the whole of Central Europe, with minor regional restrictions.
  • Primatologist Jane Goodall Awarded Honorary Doctorate

    The University of Zurich is celebrating its 187th anniversary digitally for the first time, awarding honorary doctorates to screenwriter Simone Schmid and film-maker Stefan Haupt, legal expert Heinz Mohnhaupt as well as labor economics specialist Claudia Goldin. Further honorary doctorates have gone to medical scientists Werner Bauer and Marcel Tanner, historian Elisabeth Joris and behavioral scientists Jane Goodall. Physician Giorgio Noseda and Peter F. Weibel, former president of the UZH Foundation’s board of trustees, have been appointed honorary senators.
  • Fundraising

    “More than just a source of funding”

    How does effective fundraising for science work? What’s the best way for researchers and donors to work together? These were the topics discussed by NOMIS Foundation Managing Director Markus Reinhard, UZH Vice President Research Michael Schaepman, and UZH Foundation CEO Martin Gubser.
  • Reading Minds

    Thanks to neurotechnology, it could soon be possible to read people’s thoughts, says linguist Balthasar Bickel. While fascinating from a me­dical perspective, it’s also incredibly dangerous.
  • 2019 Annual Report

    Looking Back on a Successful Year

    The University of Zurich’s annual report for 2019 has just been published – featuring research and teaching highlights as well as the latest facts and figures.
  • Pandemic Fund

    UZH Researchers in the Fight Against Coronavirus

    The UZH Foundation has launched a fundraising campaign for urgent research projects tackling the Covid-19 pandemic. The focus is on research into antibodies to determine immunity and improvements in treatment.
  • UZH Launches Funding Campaign for Covid-19 Research

    Providing scientific foundations for important political and economic decisions: That is a core aim of the pandemic fund of the University of Zurich for Covid-19 research. With the help of donations, the most urgent coronavirus research projects will be supported and accelerated.
  • AI accelerates blood flow MRI

    Imaging technology helps to detect cardiovascular diseases much earlier; however, precise examinations are still very time-consuming. Researchers from ETH and the University of Zurich have now presented a method that could greatly accelerate dynamic magnetic resonance imaging of blood flow.
  • Storm in the Blood Stream

    16-year old Patrick Simonis was looking death in the eye – but genetically modified blood cells enabled him to beat his cancer.
  • Astrophysics

    Scientists achieve simultaneous simulation of gravitation and magnetism of a protoplanetary disk

    Researchers from the Universities of Zurich and Cambridge have succeeded for the first time in creating a single computer-simulated model that combines processes in the development of planets that were previously simulated separately. In their novel simulations on the Piz Daint supercomputer, they identified a new kind of friction mechanism that could solve a ubiquitous problem in astrophysics.
  • Libraries and the Covid-19 Pandemic

    Service Continues

    The UZH libraries and the Zentralbibliothek Zürich are currently closed. But behind closed doors, the librarians are working tirelessly to ensure students and teaching staff can get hold of the books, scanned copies and other media that they require.
  • Lack of Knowledge and Uncertainty about Algorithms in Online Services

    Although Swiss internet users use online services where algorithms select search results, recommendations and information daily, they know little about their role and function. This leads to uncertainty, a feeling of powerlessness and a desire for more control, as a representative survey of Swiss internet users conducted by the University of Zurich shows.
  • Anthropology

    The Social Life of Dolphins

    With their ability to maintain life-long friendships and form coalitions within wide social networks, the dolphins in Shark Bay, Australia, display a complex social life. This is a sign of intelligence, says anthropologist Michael Krützen.
  • Blocking the Iron Transport Could Stop Tuberculosis

    The bacteria that cause tuberculosis need iron to survive. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now solved the first detailed structure of the transport protein responsible for the iron supply. When the iron transport into the bacteria is inhibited, the pathogen can no longer grow. This opens novel ways to develop targeted tuberculosis drugs.
  • University Act

    Co-Determination Rights for All UZH Employees

    Updates to the University Act and University Statutes will go into effect tomorrow, reorganizing the bodies represented in the Extended Executive Board of the University and recognizing administrative and technical staff as a new representative body with voting rights. Both changes have been in the works for some time now. The organizational and management responsibilities of the faculties will also be strengthened as part of the Governance 2020+ program.
  • Perspective

    «We all have to work together»

    For three weeks now the university has been operating mainly via digital channels. The switch has happened quickly thanks to great joint efforts by all involved. Gabriele Siegert addresses UZH employees in a video from her office at home.
  • The University of Zurich’s New COVID-19 Test Center

    “We’re bridging a gap”

    On 30 March a new COVID-19 test center was opened on the premises of the UZH Center for Travel Medicine. In this interview with UZH News, Professor Jan Fehr, the director of the center, explains why a new test facility is important and who it is primarily geared to.
  • UZH Researchers Awarded Funding of 7.5 Million Euros

    Three researchers at the University of Zurich have been awarded ERC Advanced Grants. A political scientist, a molecular biologist and an immunologist will receive 2.5 million euros each from the European Research Council. Their research topics include digitalization in democracy, the development and progression of MS, and scale-crossing effects in biology.
  • Detecting Sars-CoV-2

    Virologists on the Frontline

    Staff at the University of Zurich’s Institute of Medical Virology have been working flat out and are now able to carry out around 800 to 1,000 coronavirus tests a day. Alexandra Trkola, who heads the institute, explains what determines the quality of a good diagnosis.
  • New UZH Coronavirus Test Center Relieves Strain on Family Doctors

    The University of Zurich has repurposed its Travel Clinic as a COVID-19 test center. Designed to complement the tests currently offered by family doctors in Canton Zurich, it is geared to other people who work in healthcare services. The center also offers an X-ray service to ensure that pneumonia does not go undetected.
  • UZH Magazin

    Artificial intelligence

    Artificial intelligence is getting better and better. We can benefit from this development, say UZH scientists in the latest UZH Magazin. By joining forces with AI, we can grow cleverer.
  • New Structure for Representative Body Associations

    The representative body associations are also affected by the upcoming restructuring of the University’s representative bodies. While the VSUZH (University of Zurich Student Association) will remain active in representing student interests, all other associations will be restructured. Here is an overview of the changes.
  • Stem Cells and Nerves Interact in Tissue Regeneration and Cancer Progression

    Researchers at the University of Zurich show that different stem cell populations are innervated in distinct ways. Innervation may therefore be crucial for proper tissue regeneration. They also demonstrate that cancer stem cells likewise establish contacts with nerves. Targeting tumor innervation could thus lead to new cancer therapies.
  • Coronavirus

    “We can also learn from this situation”

    UZH has seen unparalleled changes this past week. What's next? In this interview interim president Gabriele Siegert answers some of the many questions UZH staff and students are asking in the current extraordinary situation.
  • This drone can play dodgeball - and win

    Using a novel type of cameras, researchers from the University of Zurich have demonstrated a flying robot that can detect and avoid fast-moving objects. A step towards drones that can fly faster in harsh environments, accomplishing more in less time.
  • Mental Health

    “We want to relieve the burden on family doctors”

    Birgit Watzke does research into specialist care provision for people with mental health needs.
  • Loss of Protein Disturbs Intestinal Homeostasis and Can Drive Cancer

    An international team of researchers from the University of Zurich, the University Hospital Zurich, Heidelberg and Glasgow has identified a novel function for the cell death regulating protein MCL1: It is essential in protecting the intestine against cancer development – independent of bacterial-driven inflammation. These findings have implications for the use of MCL1 inhibitors, currently being tested for cancer treatment.
  • Ancient Hornwort Genomes Could Lead to Crop Improvement

    An international research team led by the University of Zurich and the Boyce Thompson Institute illuminate the origin of land plants by analyzing the first hornwort genomes. In this ancient group of land plants, they discovered genes that could help crops grow more efficiently with less synthetic fertilizer.
  • UZH Switches to Digital Teaching

    The University of Zurich has suspended all its classroom teaching from Monday, 16 March 2020 until further notice. This measure to contain the spread of coronavirus has been taken by the Executive Board of the University after consulting with the Canton of Zurich’s Department of Education. UZH aims to enable students to complete the semester as normal, including assessments and requirements for credits.
  • European University Foundation

    Trojan Horse

    The University of Zurich recently became a member of the European University Foundation. Executive Manager João Bacelar explains how the network can support UZH when it comes to student mobility.
  • Mercator Awards

    Citizen Science, Humanitarian Aid in Uganda, Customs and Norms

    Their innovative and original research projects won over the jury: This year’s Mercator Awards go to Simon Etter and Barbara Strobl at the Department of Geography, the ethnologist Maria-Theres Schuler, and lawyer Oliver William.
  • Life-Giving Potion and Maternal Elixir

    Milk provides sustenance and protection and is the basis of life for all mammals just after they are born. The current special exhibition of the Zoological Museum of the University of Zurich offers fascinating biological insights into this amazing “liquid gold”.
  • Producing Human Tissue in Space

    The University of Zurich has sent adult human stem cells to the International Space Station (ISS). Researchers from UZH Space Hub will explore the production of human tissue in weightlessness.
  • Election of New President

    Rector candidacy

    The Board of the University has concluded the appointment process to fill the position of UZH President. The board is proposing Michael Schaepman as nominee to the Senate.
  • Plastic Waste

    No More Plastic

    Millions of tons of plastic are floating in the oceans of the world. Satellites in space could help to clean up these mountains of waste.
  • Directed Species Loss From Species-Rich Forests Strongly Decreases Productivity

    At high species richness, directed loss, but not random loss, of tree species strongly decreases forest productivity. This is shown by data from a big forest project in China in which the University of Zurich is involved. Previous studies based on random species loss could therefore bias the predictions of how more realistic extinction scenarios are likely to affect ecosystem functioning.
  • Sustainability

    Sustainable Living for the New Decade

    UZH has been stepping up its efforts to develop sustainably since 2014. One key goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the running of the university. This is an area where UZH members can contribute through their day-to-day actions.
  • Coronavirus

    Four Questions for Gabriele Siegert

    President ad interim Gabriele Siegert explains what UZH is doing about the coronavirus. With a few exceptions, all regular courses will continue to go ahead as planned. Staff and students are being kept up to date about the latest developments.
  • Hunter-Gatherer Networks Accelerated Human Evolution

    Humans began developing a complex culture as early as the Stone Age. This development was brought about by social interactions between various groups of hunters and gatherers, a UZH study has now confirmed. The researchers mapped the social networks of present-day hunter-gatherers in the Philippines and simulated the discovery of a medicinal plant product.
  • Apprentices at the UZH

    UZH Increasing Vocational Training Opportunities

    Eighty-four trainees are currently undergoing vocational training at UZH, and twelve different professions are available. An expansion of the offer is planned for this summer.
  • My Alma Mater

    The Biographer

    Regina Dieterle is the author of an 800-page biography on Theodor Fontane. The author and school teacher looks back on her time as a student at the UZH and tells how she became a Fontane expert.
  • University Communication

    ”Credibility Is the Greatest Asset”

    To mark the 50th anniversary of the UZH Journal, Jürg Dinner, head of UZH Communications, and Mike S. Schäfer, professor of science communication, discuss the media, academia and changes in the way higher education institutions communicate.
  • Biodiversity

    The Underestimated Threat

    While the threat posed by climate change is well recognized, the loss of species diversity is less so. The neglected issue takes center stage, however, at the World Biodiversity Forum, organized by UZH, in Davos next week.
  • Sustainability

    Free Train Travel

    An ecological overhaul of business and society is the task of a lifetime. But it’s achievable, says sustainability researcher Kai Niebert. The money is there, what is needed is courage and the political will.
  • Media Highlights 2019

    Climate Crisis, Evolution and a New Building Project

    UZH researchers’ answers to the burning questions of the day made international headlines in 2019. The plans for the new “Forum UZH” also met with great media interest.
  • Extinct Giant Turtle Had Horned Shell of up to Three Meters

    Paleobiologists from the University of Zurich have discovered exceptional specimens in Venezuela and Colombia of an extinct giant freshwater turtle called Stupendemys. The carapace of this turtle, which is the largest ever known, measured between 2.4 to almost 3 meters. Moreover, the shell of male Stupendemys had horns – a rare feature in turtles.
  • Academic Careers

    Academic Careers

    Quantifiable metrics like the journal impact factor should not be the only way of assessing scientific outputs, said Stephen Curry of Imperial College London at an event held at UZH.
  • Öffentliche Vorträge zu Philosophie, Populismus, Gewalt und Chancengleichheit in der Bildung

    What is the aim of philosophy? Is direct democracy populist? Does everyone have equal opportunities when it comes to education? Is violence itself a language? These questions and others will be addressed in the University of Zurich’s Ringvorlesungen in the coming semester.
  • Phonetics

    The Voice Catcher

    Our voices are as individual as our appearance. Phonetician Volker Dellwo knows how to decode their special characteristics. He is also developing cloned voices.
  • Designer Crops

    Thanks to the CrisprCas9 gene editing method, it is now possible to quickly and precisely breed resilient plants – an important contributor to sustainable agriculture. In Switzerland, however, the cultivation of genetically modified crops is not currently permitted.
  • Sustainability

    Repairing Instead of Replacing

    The power of digitalization could help us save energy and optimize product life cycles. That would be good for the environment. But the possibility is yet to be harnessed.
  • Astrophysics

    Why Uranus and Neptune are different

    The two outermost giant planets of the solar system have similar masses, but are also have striking differences. Researchers of the NCCR PlanetS at the University of Zurich have found an explanation for this long-standing mystery: Two different giant impacts could have had completely separate effects.
  • Michael Hengartner

    Six Great Years

    Last Friday, Michael Hengartner bid UZH employees adieu at a farewell apéro. We flick through the photo album and look back at a few memorable moments from his six-year tenure at the helm of the university.
  • Innovation

    Creating an Entrepreneurial Culture

    UZH already has a strong reputation for driving innovation. Entrepreneurship and innovation are now to be given even more of a boost to make students and junior researchers more aware of career paths outside the traditional routes, explains Michael Schaepman, Vice President Research.
  • Saving the World

    Green Investment

    A mere fraction of the wealth of the super-rich would be enough to make our economy more sustainable – assuming it’s invested the right way.
  • Openly Acknowledging Social Inequalities

    Members of disadvantaged social groups who engage in contact with members of privileged groups are less likely to support social change toward equality, a multinational study by social psychologists at the University of Zurich shows. To reduce this effect, it is important to actively address and acknowledge inequalities in intergroup contacts.
  • Video Series “Standing Out”: Rolf Dörig

    Insurer Supreme

    Rolf Dörig is a household name in the business world as chairman of the board of directors of international companies such as Swiss Life or, until recently, the Adecco Group. Watch the video to find out what helped him build such a remarkable career and what he’d advise today’s students who want to reach the top.
  • Study of Religions

    The Fate of the Nameless Dead

    What happens to boat refugees who never reach the other shore? This question preoccupies religious studies scholar Daniela Stauffacher. She researches the official treatment of and rituals performed for migration victims in southern Italy.
  • Digitalization Initiative

    “Vote of confidence in Zurich as a research hub”

    The Parliament of the Canton of Zurich yesterday unanimously resolved to provide 108 million francs of funding for the DIZH, the ground-breaking joint initiative by Zurich’s higher education institutions.
  • Biology

    Cellular Traitors

    When it comes to disease-causing viruses, medicine is still waiting for a breakthrough. The reason lies in the special way these quasi-living organisms function. Viruses don’t simply attack us; they live in constant symbiosis with us.
  • Joseph Stiglitz at UZH

    Doing Nothing Is Not an Option

    The new Center of Competence for Sustainable Finance (CCSF) was inaugurated at UZH last week. At the opening, Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel prize for economics and chair of the center’s academic advisory board, spoke about the risks and opportunities of climate change. His message was clear: Decisive action must be taken – now.
  • Refining Breast Cancer Classification by Multiplexed Imaging

    An imaging approach developed at UZH enables the study of breast cancer tissue in greater detail. It uses 35 biomarkers to identify the different cell types in breast tumors and its surrounding area compared to the current standard of testing single markers. This increases the precision of tumor analysis and classification - and improves personalized diagnostics for breast cancer patients.
  • How Zebra Finches Learn to Sing

    Complex learning processes like speaking or singing follow similar patterns. Using the example of zebra finches, researchers at UZH and ETH Zurich have investigated how young birds imitate the courtship songs of their fathers and practice them thousands of times. The study has revealed what aspects of the song are remembered overnight, and that sleep allows the bird to optimally build upon the progress made on the previous day.
  • 20 years of Unitectra

    “We can’t be everybody’s darling”

    Technology transfer office Unitectra recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. In the interview below, Managing Director Adrian Sigrist explains what has changed and why the organization has thrived.
  • Alumni

    Two Souls Dwelling in My Breast

    Accomplished alumni look back on their studies at UZH. This article features professional flautist and music educator Renate Lemmer.
  • World Premiere in Zurich: Machine keeps human livers alive for one week outside of the body

    Researchers from the University Hospital Zurich, ETH Zurich, Wyss Zurich and the University of Zurich have developed a machine that repairs injured human livers and keeps them alive outside the body for one week. This breakthrough may increase the number of available organs for transplantation saving many lives of patients with severe liver diseases or cancer.
  • Improved Functioning of Diverse Landscape Mosaics

    It is well-established that biodiverse ecosystems generally function better than monocultures. Ecologists at the University of Zurich have now shown that the same is true on a larger scale: Having a mix of different land-covers including grassland, forest, urban areas and water bodies improves the functioning and stability of a landscape – irrespective of the plant species diversity, region and climate.
  • Medicine

    Fixing Hearts, Saving Lives

    Artificial heart valves save many lives. But the problem is that a prosthesis is never as robust as the real thing. This is why UZH Professor Maximilian Emmert wants to get the human body to rebuild the damaged valves itself.
  • In the Spotlight

    Political Whiz Kid

    Political scientist Fabrizio Gilardi and his colleagues established the Digital Democracy Lab.
  • Urban Psychology

    Happy Places

    Some parts of Zurich are colorful and full of life, while others appear drab and empty. Psychologist Alice Hollenstein knows what brings joy to city dwellers – and what doesn’t.
  • Open Science

    Science Opens Up

    Open science is gaining momentum. According to Mark Robinson and Marc Thommen, the open science delegates newly appointed by UZH to support the transformation to greater cooperation, the movement will bring about major changes in the academic system.


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