Where the research happens

  • Coordinate complementary approaches to establish the engineering principles of functional molecular modules to program complex synthetic- or cellular systems.
    Coordinate complementary approaches to establish the engineering principles of functional molecular modules to program complex synthetic- or cellular systems.

31 active project groups contribute to the NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering, divided into four work packages (WP). In this interdisciplinary cooperation, the two leading houses, the University of Basel and ETH Zürich, are joined by the Universities of Zurich, Berne, Lausanne and Geneva, and the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, the Paul Scherrer Institute, EMPA, the University Hospital Basel, and IBM Research Zurich.

Details to all research projects

The involved universities and institutes share the workload of a total of the 31 active projects. About two thirds are lead by project leaders based in the Basel area; 9 are spread throughout Switzerland. Every project is co-associated with various other projects and finds its home base in one of the four work packages. Each project group is headed by a project leader and hosts anything from 2 to 4 PhD-students or postdoctoral researchers that get a unique chance to be part of this fascinating journey called NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering. Projects can draw upon various in-kind contributors usually from the research groups of their project leaders.

The first four years in research

The goals set by the NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering is to make use of advances in chemistry, molecular cell biology and genetics, physics, bioinformatics and engineering to assemble functional molecular modules into complex systems. Initially, functional molecular modules will be engineered and used to design compartments or nanoreactors capable of performing complex functions including cascade reactions, energy conversion, signal transduction, minimal metabolism or synthesis of molecular compounds.

Later, these modules will be assembled to more complex systems that resemble molecular factories and approach minimal living units. Alternatively, these functional modules and compartments will be used to control or modify cellular systems. This approach requires the translation of fundamental design strategies from different disciplines. To establish molecular systems engineering, the four transversal work packages bring cutting-edge competences into multidisciplinary clusters at all levels of the diverse 31 projects united within the NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering.

31 research projects

Read some more details about our 31 active projects.

Scientific Publications

Scientific publications enabled by the NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering: Read here.

Media on NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering

What the media says about the NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering: Read here.

Four Work Packages – one goal!

Read about how the 31 projects are organised in four transversal work packages.