Molecular Systems Engineering

A paradigm shift focusing on molecular factories, cellular systems and the improvement of health.

SeminBar

Tue, 25 June, 18.00

"Gender equality in science: why is it taking so long?"

Paul Walton, University of York, UK

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Locarno Film Festival

NCCR MSE enters into cooperation with Locarno Film Festival.

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ICMSE-2

18-20 August, Nijmegen, Netherlands

2nd International Conference on Molecular Systems Engineering: Functional Molecular Systems.
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Daniel Müller receives the Marsilius Medal

Daniel Müller, Co-Director of NCCR MSE has received the Marsilius Medal from the Marsilius Kolleg of the University of Heidelberg.

Every semester, the Marsilius-Kolleg organizes a Marsilius Lecture in which renowned scientists from different fields speak on cross-disciplinary topics. These are then presented with the Marsilius Medal, which is awarded for special merits in the dialogue between scientific disciplines.
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A biosynthetic dual-core cell computer

Graphic: Colourbox/Steven Emmett, ETH Zurich

Researchers from the Fussenegger group have integrated CRISPR-Cas9-based core processors into human cells. Combining orthogonal Cas9-variants enabled the design of multicore genetic CPUs that provide parallel arithmetic computations. The Cas9-based multicore CPU design represents a huge step towards creating powerful single-cell mammalian biocomputers that may provide unparalleled opportunities in developing novel biomedical applications.
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Welcome, Hala!

NCCR MSE is welcoming Hala Helmy, our new Managing Director responsible for Finance, HR & Equal Opportunity.

Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine awarded to Botond Roska

The 2019 Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine has been awarded to Botond Roska, project leader at NCCR MSE and co-Director of the newly established Institute for Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel, for his work on restoring vision. The Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine is the most prestigious European prize for medicine.
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Whole-brain imaging of mice during behavior

In a study published in Neuron, researchers from the Roska group have demonstrated how functional ultrasound imaging can yield high-resolution, unbiased, brain-wide activity maps of behaving mice. The team was particularly interested in the brain regions involved in the optokinetic reflex. These can lead to a brain-wide understanding of how brain activity relates to specific behavior – in healthy mice and in mouse models of neurologic or psychiatric diseases.
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Christof Sparr awarded the Ruzicka Prize 2018

Christof Sparr, project leader at NCCR MSE has been awarded the Ruzicka Prize 2018 for his work on catalytic cascade reactions inspired by polyketide biosynthesis.

The Ruzicka Prize is awarded to a young researcher for an outstanding publication in the field of chemistry, and is considered one of the most important awards in the field of chemistry in Switzerland.
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Recording device for cell history

© Martin Oeggerli / Micronaut.
www.micronaut.ch

Researchers from the Platt group are using the CRISPR-Cas system to develop a novel recording mechanism: the snippets of DNA it produces can provide information about certain cellular processes. In future, this cellular memory might even be used in diagnostics.
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"Molecular balls" for a new type of catalysis

NCCR MSE researchers at the University of Geneva show how electrons can move together on the surface of molecular balls formed of carbon atoms and allow a new type of catalysis.
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New approach to terpene syntheses

Terpenes are natural products that are often very difficult to synthesize in the laboratory. Chemists from NCCR MSE working in the Tiefenbacher group have now developed a synthesis method that mimics nature. The decisive step takes place inside a molecular capsule, which enables the reaction.
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Contact to molecules established for the first time on silicon chip

Electrical circuits are constantly being scaled down and extended with specific functions. A new method developed by researchers from NCCR MSE now allows electrical contact to be established with simple molecules on a conventional silicon chip. The technique promises to bring advances in sensor technology and medicine.
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Parental leave

We are happy to announce the introduction of up to 3 months of fully-paid parental leave for parents that want to take a break to take care and raise their newborn (or adopted) children (up to max. 1 year old). The parental leave is available to both mothers and fathers that are Fellows paid directly by NCCR MSE.
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NCCR MSE meets Locarno Film Festival

© Locarno Film Festival

World-renowned Locarno Film Festival and NCCR MSE merge expertise to initiate a unique cooperation: for its 72nd edition (August 7 – 17, 2019) the festival has invited NCCR MSE to discuss the ethical challenges of its research and to join the new ‘BaseCamp laboratory of ideas’ with a group of young scientists.

On August 16, 2019 NCCR MSE will stage one of the three Locarno Talks and discuss "The ethical challenges of engineering life and the effects on human identity".
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Something knocked me out' the tree – Ralf's corner

The MIT Technology Review recently reported that "Chinese scientists have put human brain genes in monkeys". After reading the article I fell asleep and had the weirdest dream. I dreamt that I was a scientist in a lab, wearing a fancy white coat. In the afternoon I waved good bye to my research group and drove home where my lovely wife who had her day off (she works full-time, we are very liberal) opened the door.
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Lab Concerto

© Patrick Hürlimann

Our public Lab Concerto series premiered on 7 February 2019 in the chemistry labs at the University of Basel. The argovia philharmonic classical quartett played works by Händel, Britten, Tscherepnin, Dukas a.o. to an audience which had arrived from all over Switzerland. In between, our young researchers Alina Stein and Jaicy Vallapurackal showed some exciting lab experiments which helped our audience to better understand the research goals of the NCCR. The concert was followed by an apéro in Berta’s Saloon where the audience, musicians and scientists had plenty of time to meet and discuss the traditional relationship between the arts and the sciences.
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Dual leadership for the Botnar Research Centre for Child Health

The directors of the Botnar Research Centre for Child Health: Professor Georg Holländer and Professor Sai Reddy. (Image: University of Basel / ETH Zurich)

NCCR MSE Project Leader Sai Reddy (D-BSSE) has been appointed Vice Director of the Botnar Research Centre for Child Health (BRCCH). He will co-direct the BRCCH together with Prof. Georg Holländer from the University of Basel.

On 19 September, the University of Basel and ETH Zurich co-founded the Botnar Research Centre for Child Health (BRCCH) in Basel, funded by Fondation Botnar with a contribution of 100 Mio CHF. The BRRCH brings together top scientists and clinical researchers from a variety of disciplines in order to develop new methods, systems engineering principles, and digital innovations for global use in paediatrics. Several research groups from NCCR MSE were instrumental in planning and establishing the BRCCH and will be actively involved in its research.
> Read more (in German)

NCCR MSE has an Ironwoman

On the first weekend of September at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship, South Africa, our NCCR MSE Phd student Sophie Herzog made place 3 (of age group 25-29)! Sophie qualified among 130'000 athletes worldwide to participate. From these about 3'000 athletes were allowed to race for the Ironman!
CONGRATULATIONS, SOPHIE!!

Cooperation with Center for Gender Studies

While NCCR MSE recognizes that gender stereotypes exist in various areas of life we are strongly committed to assure that the fundamental right of equality between men and woman can be exercised in our group of researchers. To underline these efforts we have invited the renowned Center of Gender Studies to become our critical scientific partner.
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The lab as a bridge

Together with the library, the lab is one of the places of knowledge par excellence: in the former, knowledge is stored and made accessible, in the latter, created. But what if you make labs more open and accessible? A conversation with Head Ethics Ralf Stutzki.
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Upcoming events

25 June, 18.00
SeminBar with Paul Walton @SUD
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16 August
"Ethical challenges of engineering life and the effects on human identity" @Locarno Film Festival
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18-20 August
2nd International Conference on Molecular Systems Engineering @Nijmegen, Netherlands
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Current Vacancies

PhD position
Hybrid Functional Compartments at the Nanoscale: Towards "Artificial Cellular Implants"
Apply until 25.07.2019

Postdoctoral position

Development of DNA-based Clusters of Nanocompartments for Regenerative Medicine
Apply until 25.07.2019

Postdoctoral position (1 year with possibility of extension)

Cascade Reactions Distributed Over Networks of Nanocompartments with Spatial Precision
Apply until 31.07.2019


Current vacancies

NCCR Flexibility Grants

New NCCR Flexibility Grants are available to postdocs and doctoral students who have to look after children at an important stage in their career and are in need of more flexibility.
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Maestro Method

"Maestro Method" is an out of the lab learning tool for our young as well as our experienced scientists. The idea behind it is that by gaining insight into work processes and methodological approaches implemented successfully by non-scientists we may enhance and improve our own professional skills.

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SRF Interview with Ralf Stutzki

Ralf Stutzki, Head Ethics, on scientific misconduct and integrity in research (in German).

SRF Interview with Benjamin Gaub

Watch the interview with NCCR MSE fellow Benjamin Gaub from the Müller group talking about vision restoration in the SRF 1 show gesundheitheute.

Sound of Molecules – I. fiddle (with)

This audio-visual production represents a milestone in the on-going cooperation between NCCR MSE and argovia philharmonic and a most unusual communication tool meant to stimulate the societal debate about the ethical challenges of synthetic biology.

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Lynn Hershman Leeson visits the NCCR MSE

American artist and filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson has long studied the relationship between technological innovation and human identity. For her latest project she visited the NCCR MSE on October 27 to discuss art and its role in bridging the gap between science and the public.

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Art of Molecule

Take a look at the projects of NCCR fellows and students of the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) exploring new horizons at the interface between science and art.