DSI Strategy Lab "Artificial Intelligence in Medicine"
Our Digital Doppelgangers
Artificial intelligence is also revolutionizing the world of medicine. In the future, we will be able to create digital twins that simulate various processes in our body. These digital representations of ourselves will be able to help us diagnose and treat diseases.
A new semester has started, which means that many students and PhD candidates from abroad are currently arriving in Switzerland. The German courses at the Language Center offer them a gateway to Swiss culture.
Stalinismus: Ein Trauma mit destruktiven Langzeiteffekten
UZH psychologist Andreas Maercker researches the social and psychological consequences of collectively experienced trauma – using the descendants of victims of Stalinist and post-Stalinist repression as his subjects.
Keeping active in later life keeps you healthy. MOASIS is a study conducted by UZH to examine how older people live and the effect this has on their fitness levels and well-being. The message is clear: use it or lose it.
Wide-Ranging Cases of Sexual Abuse in Swiss Catholic Church
An independent team of historians was given unprecedented access to archives of the Swiss Catholic Church to investigate cases of sexual abuse within the church. The UZH researchers have now documented 1,002 cases of sexual abuse committed by Catholic clerics, church staff and members of Catholic orders that have occurred in Switzerland since the mid-20th century.
How can you make sure you succeed at university? As we head into the new semester, we asked two talented Excellence Scholarship winners about how to excel in your studies. Selina Scherrer and Fabian Nägele talk about finding their own paths to success and what drives them.
On 21 September, UZH is hosting a symposium in honor of the late physicist and Nobel laureate K. Alex Müller. Ahead of the event, we shine a spotlight on the discovery that earned Müller the Nobel Prize and speak with two of his close colleagues.
UZH psychologist Jan Schmutz researches how teams function in extreme environments and how they can thrive in the face of adversity. His research shows that teams succeed when their members feel safe and involved at work.
20,000 to 30,000 visitors experienced science up close this weekend at Scientifica, Switzerland’s largest science festival. Some 1,000 researchers from the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich were on site to present their work.
The very first humans knew that cooperation and division of labor could bring advantages – and even help them survive. Today, anthropologist Andrea Migliano conducts research into the social networks of modern hunter-gatherer cultures.
Challenge Accepted: High-speed AI Drone Overtakes World-Champion Drone Racers
EIn a milestone for artificial intelligence (AI), the AI system “Swift”, designed by UZH researchers, has beaten the world champions in drone racing – a result that seemed unattainable just a few years ago. The AI-piloted drone was trained in a simulated environment.
Sleep disorders are very common, and they’re particularly problematic for people with Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at UZH, USZ and ETH are developing a device that can help patients sleep more deeply and improve their quality of life.
People with limited mobility have to deal with numerous obstacles in Zurich. ZüriACT, a joint project of UZH and the city of Zurich, aims to tackle this issue and make the city more accessible. Learn about the project at this year’s Scientifica festival.
For over 6,000 years, the indigenous Kawésqar people have lived in Patagonia in the south of Chile without destroying its ecosystem. An exhibition at the Ethnographic Museum of UZH now showcases the lives of Kawésqar people and the troubling history of ethnographic shows.
In autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis, the body’s immune system attacks the central nervous system. Immunologist Sarah Mundt wants to figure out why that happens and how to keep autoreactive T cells in check.
Ning Wang cuts a confident figure – in science, in international organizations and on the dance floor. The UZH ethicist and political scientist grew up in China and is now an advisor to the WEF. She develops ethical guidelines for, among other things, the use of drones.
Do you want to broaden your horizons while you’re away on holiday? Solve our summer quiz and dive into the sea of knowledge at UZH. We hope you enjoy our last article before the summer break – see you in August!
A strategic project at UZH aims to boost HR management and services at the university. One of its key goals is to gradually step up digitalization, including a new self-service portal for employees through which payslips will be available electronically.
The first version of UZH’s Digital Strategy has been rolled out. Many employees and students played a key role in its creation. In this interview, UZH President Michael Schaepman and Harald Gall explain why the university needs this strategy and what its main goals are.
One of Oliver Schmid’s tasks is to educate UZH employees about the dangers in cyberspace. We interviewed the IT specialist to talk about establishing a safety culture and the goals of the recently launched campaign to raise awareness.
ChatGPT is overrated as artificial intelligence and underrated as a language model, linguist Noah Bubenhofer says. He, philosopher Hans-Johann Glock, and computational linguist Rico Sennrich discuss how chatbots could change science, universities, and everyday work in the interview below.
The Swiss Amish in the US city of Berne still speak a language called Shwitzer. It derives from the Bernese German dialect spoken by the Emmental Anabaptists, but far from being archaic, Shwitzer is a highly innovative and dynamic language.
On 1 July, the Euclid space telescope will start its journey into outer space on an important mission – to seek further clues about the origin of the universe. UZH researchers are involved in the scientific preparation and evaluation of the mission as part of a project led by the European Space Agency (ESA).
Positive emotions are the cornerstone of successful and productive work. Economist Jochen Menges is exploring how the emotions of teams and therefore their performance can be influenced. His research shows that not everyone wants the same things.
The University of Zurich achieved excellent results in the Swiss government’s 2023 Swiss Roadmap for Research Infrastructures, acting as the sponsoring institution for 5 out of 14 large-scale priority projects.
Climate Change Releases Carbon Stocks Deep Underground
Global warming is accelerating the decomposition of soil humus. It is also affecting the waxy and woody compounds – previously thought to be stable – which help plants store carbon in their leaves and roots.
UZH recently concluded a pilot study to find out how the modern world of work can best satisfy the needs of employers and employees. Managing potentially contradictory wishes is key to success, found the study.
The student association PolyUniQue, which represents the interests of the LGBTQIA+ community at UZH and ETH, has organized an array of activities to celebrate Pride Month. We asked board member Lilith Achermann what Pride Month means to her.
Before DNA in cells can be replicated or repaired, a very specific process must take place. By combining experiment and simulation, researchers led by the University of Zurich were able to decipher this process in detail. Their work also represents a larger change in classical structural biology and our understanding of unstructured proteins.
The UZH special exhibition Bits, Bytes & Biodiversity in the Swiss National Park highlights promising digital methods in ecology – but also points out that conservation projects only work if they are supported by everyone.
Our visual perception is more rational than we think
Our visual perception depends more strongly on the utility of information than previously thought. This has been demonstrated in a series of experiments conducted by researchers at the Neuroscience Center Zurich.
Over the past two years, UZH has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions. Overall, the university has taken a number of effective measures to promote sustainable development, as shown in its latest Sustainability Report.
UZH the First European University to Establish One Health Institute
Researchers from veterinary medicine, human medicine and the natural sciences have joined forces to establish Europe’s first university-based One Health Institute at UZH. Together, they want to explore the links between human, animal and environmental health.
Most conspiracy theories paint an absurd picture of the world. Religious studies scholars at UZH are exploring why people nevertheless believe them. According to philosopher Sebastian Schmidt, they point to a crisis of intellectual confidence.
Coming-of-age stories are filled with young people exploring their identity amid a whirlwind of emotions. Today, this rite of passage is played out against a backdrop of climate change, war and energy crises. Young people suffer from global problems which they cannot solve – and for most, saving the world is not on their agenda.
Science is committed to truth. But there are isolated cases in which researchers rig data, disregard authorship, steal ideas or plagiarize. UZH has an integrity ordinance to tackle potential misconduct.
Johanna Spyri and Heidi archives included in the Memory of the World Register of UNESCO
The Johanna Spyri and Heidi archives in Zurich have been added to UNESCO's Memory of the World International Register. The University of Zurich will be working with both institutions to promote the academic study of the collections.
A study commissioned by the Executive Board of the University examined the “leaky pipeline”. UZH News interviewed Deputy President Gabriele Siegert and Vice President Elisabeth Stark to find out their views on the matter.
Making the dynamics of an excited molecule visible is only possible using computationally intensive simulations. Recently, a research team led by Sandra Luber from the University of Zurich has developed a method that speeds up these complex simulations.
Chimpanzees Combine Calls to Communicate New Meaning
Similar to humans, chimpanzees combine vocalizations into larger communicatively meaningful structures. UZH researchers suggest that this ability might be evolutionarily more ancient than previously thought.
Working together for greater security of electricity supply: to compensate for a possible power shortage in winter, the University of Zurich and ETH have joined a nationwide pool of emergency power generators. This grouping of emergency generation serves as part of the power reserve for the winter and can provide additional power for Switzerland.
190 Years of the University of Zurich: Honorary Doctorates for Six Women and One Man
No fewer than six women will receive honorary doctorates at the Dies academicus of the University of Zurich on Saturday. They are anthropologist Birgit Meyer, courtroom sketch artist Linda Graedel, computer scientist Tova Milo, medical ethicist Christine Mitchell, veterinarian Monique Eloit and activist Maude Barlow, with the seventh honor going to the (male) opera singer Christian Gerhaher.
Main Suppliers of Epo in the Human Body Identified
We know Erythropoietin, or Epo for short, from doping cases. But the body also produces this vital hormone. Now, scientists have been able to identify the main producer of Epo, laying the foundation for the development of new therapies.
Young women seem to be less drawn to degrees in science or technology. But what is putting them off? A sociological study at UZH has revealed that outdated gender stereotypes – such as supposed differences in analytical thinking – play a major role.
Fake news is everywhere and achieving a new level of quality thanks to artificial intelligence. Safeguarding ourselves against it isn’t easy, as many people prefer to believe plausible misinformation rather than complicated facts.
Initial funding of 1 million: thanks to the Werner Siemens-Stiftung, UZH chemistry professors Greta Patzke, David Tilley, Stefan Seeger and Kathrin Fenner and their teams will be able to develop their project idea for a research into technologies for sustainable resource use. If successful, 100 million and the creation of a new WSS research center awaits.
UZH Teaching Fund – Part 6: International teaching
Share Your Mountain Landscapes
How are mountain regions dealing with migration and climate change? A collaborative seminar at UZH and Tbilisi State University explores the challenges faced by both the Alps and the Caucasus region – with the help of a custom-developed app.
Commissions at higher education institutions ensure that a diverse range of voices are represented in university proceedings and decision-making processes. To guarantee fair representation for all, UZH is standardizing the composition of its core commissions.
“Responsibility lies with the human being, not artificial intelligence”
Chatbots pose a challenge to university teaching: where can they be helpful, where not? Thomas Hidber, Head of Educational Development at UZH, advocates a selective approach to their usage – to relieve students of routine work, for example. However, it’s all the more important that the use of AI systems is made transparent.
All over the world, extreme climatic events are causing people to lose their homes and livelihoods, forcing them to start over elsewhere. The interdisciplinary research project RE-TRANS identifies which regions are particularly under threat and analyzes how to best manage mass relocations.
Millions of Russians live in a world of make-believe, hoodwinked by state propaganda. Alternative realities are the opium of the people and allow the elites to hold on to power, as shown by a look at history with Slavonic studies scholar Sylvia Sasse and historian Jeronim Perović.
Heart Attacks, Science Fiction and Lessons from Organic Agriculture
Three UZH junior researchers are honored with a FAN Award for their original work: Florian Wenzl for his research on personalized heart attack treatment, Jessica Imbach for her study of Chinese science fiction and Emilio Dal Re for revealing the unintended consequences of organic agriculture.
UZH Teaching Fund – Part 4: Individualized Teaching
From Lab Bench to Sofa
The MyMi.mobile 2.0 app enables medical students to use their computers or smartphones to conduct microscope examinations of pathology tissue samples. This helps them understand the connections between cell structure and organ dysfunction.
Digital technologies make many systems and processes more efficient. Lorenz Hilty, professor of informatics, is researching how the digital transformation can also be harnessed for sustainable development.
By analyzing tumors in unprecedented depth, the Tumor Profiler project represents an important step along the road toward personalized cancer treatments. And the team have already recorded initial successes: in a study focusing on skin cancer, tumors shrank in about one third of patients.
The Government Council of the Canton of Zurich has approved the budget request for the new education and research center FORUM UZH. The new building can be realized as planned and is expected to be completed by the end of 2029.
Sexual Harassment Awareness Day takes place on 23 March. In this interview, legal scholars Brigitte Tag and Sina Staudinger explain what UZH is doing to protect its staff and students against sexual harassment.
UZH is updating the design of its website on 12 April 2023. Thanks to its user-friendly navigation, generous layout and easy-to-read font, the new website looks fresh and inviting – especially on mobile devices.
How do interdisciplinary teams develop ideas that are in touch with the world outside of university? In various innovation courses at UZH, students learn how they can translate their ideas into business solutions – including a reality check by industry experts.
Genetics as Conservation Tool for Endangered Chimpanzees
The western chimpanzees of Guinea are threatened by mining activities. Using a novel genetic approach, researchers have collected information on population size and community structure of the endangered species.
UZH Teaching Fund – Part 3: Goal-Oriented Teaching
Programming and Reflecting
A cross-faculty lecture series addresses the basic principles, applications and implications of machine learning. Students are introduced to the use of algorithms in the world of work and in research, and gain awareness of the risks of digitalization and the accompanying ethical issues.
In the interdisciplinary lecture series “Sustainability Now!”, Right Livelihood Award recipients talk about how they have been able to initiate sustainable developments, from peacebuilding to preserving biodiversity. The lectures are presented and chaired by students who want to learn how to translate academic learning into practice.
A new testing facility at Dübendorf Airport enables researchers to develop autonomous systems such as drones from idea to marketable product. The facility was conceived thanks to the Digitalization Initiative of the Zurich Higher Education Institutions.
Income inequality is increasing. According to economist David Dorn, this is causing wider demographic groups to turn their back on the established system – most notably in the US, but also elsewhere. We talk to Dorn about redistribution of salaries, temporary protective tariffs and the future of work.
UZH Teaching Fund – Part 1: Research-based teaching
Taking the Plunge into Research
In the Research Cycle in Genomics block course, students experience research firsthand, by formulating their own research questions based on experimental data and then investigating them. In addition to getting undergraduates motivated, this freedom can lead to some amazing results.
Kerstin Noëlle Vokinger has doctorates in law and medicine, was admitted to the bar, has a Master’s degree from Harvard and is a professor at only 34 years old. And yet she doesn’t see herself as a high flier.
Google and Facebook sell our personal data and earn billions worth of profits by doing that. Economist Gregory Crawford and philosopher Francis Cheneval think that they ought to share the money with us and that we should have ownership rights over our personal data.
We are experiencing a moment of world history in which many certainties are being questioned and the ground under our feet feels shaky. But instead of wallowing in pessimism, we need to mobilize positive forces and face the problems head on, say legal scholar Matthias Mahlmann and political scientist Stefanie Walter.
The LOOP Zurich research center is creating a central platform to exchange health data between UZH, ETH Zurich and the four university hospitals in Zurich, making it possible to quickly and easily use this information for the benefit of patients.
UZH has launched a new campaign to combat discrimination and foster an atmosphere of mutual respect and appreciation. Deputy President Gabriele Siegert introduces the campaign and gives tips on resolving conflict.
The pension fund BVK is lowering the interest rate on policyholders’ savings balances to the statutory minimum of 1% as of July 2023. We sat down with BVK Chief Executive Thomas R. Schönbächler to ask why.
Today, economics is a universal behavioral science, says Ernst Fehr. In an experiment at schools, the economist showed that young students who can regulate themselves well learn better. This ability can be trained.
In Côte d’Ivoire and Malawi, many children don’t attend school because they have to work on cocoa plantations or are married off at an early age. UZH economist Guilherme Lichand is using innovative experiments to explore solutions to this problem.
Eight Swiss museums, including UZH’s Ethnographic Museum, have come together under the Swiss Benin Initiative (BIS) to work with Nigeria in investigating the provenance of their holdings from the historical kingdom of Benin. Alexis Malefakis, who curates the museum’s African collection, discusses the project, the limitations of provenance research, and the restitution of looted artefacts.
Artificial Intelligence Improves Efficiency of Genome Editing
Researchers at the University of Zurich have developed a new tool that uses artificial intelligence to predict the efficacy of various genome editing repair options. Unintentional errors in the correction of DNA mutations of genetic diseases can thus be reduced.
UZH is creating seven new assistant professorships and stepping up its research and teaching activities in the field of digital transformation. This brings the total number of professorships created as part of the Digital Society Initiative to over 30.
Many women and men still work in sex-typed occupations. One important reason for this is that men are selectively leaving occupations that are increasingly taken up by women, a recent study from the University of Zurich has shown.
Two UZH researchers are harnessing the light reflections from leaves to learn more about biodiversity and the characteristics of plants. Analyzing spectral data is revolutionizing not only the way in which we research ecosystems but also allows us to protect them more effectively.
There are now 186 journals in Switzerland providing Diamond Open Access, meaning scientific articles can be published and read free of charge. A new PLATO study has collected data about the open access journals and highlighted the sometimes difficult working and publishing conditions.
In 1986, UZH physicist and IBM Fellow K. Alex Müller and J. Georg Bednorz revolutionized solid-state physics with the discovery of the first high-temperature superconductor. In the following year, 1987, the two researchers were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. K. Alex Müller has now died in Zurich at the age of 95.
The newly established Postdoc Team Award allows UZH to recognize outstanding interdisciplinary research. The inaugural award has gone to two teams, both of which are developing innovative approaches in healthcare research, such as linking pupil size to stress resilience or exploring what tweets can reveal about our mental health.
Over a dozen climate-related lawsuits are pending at the European Court of Human Rights, putting legal processes at the institution to the test. Two UZH lawyers are investigating how courts can reach fair and judicious decisions in climate cases.
Three new spin-offs were founded at UZH in 2022, transferring scientific findings into industry practice. The business ventures explore new perspectives in the fight against cancer, space factories to produce human tissue, and ways to accelerate the development of novel drugs.
Donated Livers, Dolphin Apothecaries and Dangerous Dishwashers
Evolution, health, and animal and human behavior were among the topics of the most popular 10 media releases from the University of Zurich in 2022. The communiqué with the greatest reach was about a damaged liver successfully treated outside of the human body and then used in a donor organ transplant.