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Top Rankings for Anatomy and Physiology

UZH places among the top 50 in four subjects in the current QS World University Rankings by Subject. In Anatomy & Physiology, which is new in the 2017 survey, it is ranked 20th in the world – UZH’s best result. Johannes Loffing, head of the Institute of Anatomy, and Carsten Wagner at the Institute of Physiology, are delighted with the results.
Communications Office
Loffing / Wagner
Pleased about the very good results in the QS Rankings: Johannes Loffing (left), who heads the Institute of Anatomy, and Carsten Wagner, professor at the Institute of Physiology.

Johannes Loffing and Carsten Wagner, are you surprised your subjects got such good rankings?

Johannes Loffing: We do excellent work in anatomy and physiology, and have come up with many interesting research findings in recent years. Even so, I hadn’t expected us to place so high in an international ranking. I’m delighted with the results.

Carsten Wagner: The same goes for me. The ranking means that the work we’ve been doing in recent years is getting broad recognition.

What do you think were the decisive factors in this excellent ranking?

Johannes Loffing: Work on the University Research Priority Programs and the National Centers of Competence in Research, plus translational cancer research involving a number of different Clinical Research Priority Programs, has been decisive. Networks of this type are boosting visibility and reputation both in this country and abroad. Another factor could be that we’re working on the cusp between pure and applied science. In both anatomy and physiology pre-clinical and clinical aspects are closely connected.

What have been the outstanding achievements in anatomy at UZH in recent years?

Johannes Loffing: In the last few years we’ve conducted many successful research projects, for example in brain, tumor, and kidney research. Our gravitational research, which has created major waves, also deserves mention. It’s by no means a matter of course for there to be so much research in anatomy as at UZH. In many places the focus of anatomy within medicine is more on teaching than research. For this reason these subjects are often neglected by research bodies and policymakers. That makes it all the more gratifying that anatomy and physiology have been introduced as a category in the QS Rankings.

Professor Wagner, where do you see the strengths of physiology at UZH?

Carsten Wagner: The high level of recognition our research has earned from our peers internationally and the good reputation of our teaching is down to a number of factors. They include UZH’s support for the former Human Physiology University Research Priority Program (ZIHP) and the ongoing Kidney.CH NCCR, the involvement of our researchers in various EU projects, and the broad support our research is receiving from the Swiss National Science Foundation. We’ve also been very successful in recruiting new professors from Switzerland and abroad.