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Welcome on the Website of the Center for Clinical Research (CCR) of the University of Zurich!

  • Clinical Trials Center
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Faculty of Medicine

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Prof. Isabelle Arnold, Assistant Professor, Institute of Experimental Immunology, UZH

Prof. Lauren Clack

Prof. Lauren Clack, Assistant Professor, Institute for Implementation Science in Health Care, UZH

Prof. Ana Guerreiro Stücklin

Prof. Ana Guerreiro Stücklin, Assistant Professor, University Children’s Hospital Zurich

Prof. Janna Hastings

Prof. Janna Hastings, Assistant Professor, Institute for Implementation Science in Health Care, UZH

Prof. Adrian V. Jäggi

Prof. Adrian V. Jäggi, Assistant Professor, Institute of Evolutionary Medicine, UZH

Prof. Viktor Koelzer

Prof. Viktor Koelzer, Assistant Professor, Institute for Pathology and Molecular Pathology, University Hospital Zurich

Prof. Soeren Lienkamp

Prof. Soeren Lienkamp, Assistant Professor, Institute of Anatomy, UZH

Prof. Chiara Magnani

Prof. Chiara Magnani, Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, USZ

Prof. Rahel Naef

Prof. Rahel Naef, Assistant Professor, Institute for Implementation Science in Health Care, UZH

Prof. Giancarlo Natalucci

Prof. Giancarlo Natalucci, Assistant Professor Department of Neonatology, University Hospital Zurich

Prof. Chantal Pauli

Prof. Chantal Pauli, Assistant Professor Institute for Pathology and Molecular Pathology, University Hospital Zurich

Prof. Lorenza Penengo

Prof. Lorenza Penengo, Assistant Professor Institute for Molecular Cancer Research, UZH

Prof. Tina Perica

Prof. Tina Perica, Assistant Professor Department of Biochemistry, UZH

Prof. Christoph Schneider

Prof. Christoph Schneider, Department of Physiology, UZH

Prof.  Ataman Sendoel

Prof. Ataman Sendoel, Assistant Professor Institute for Regenerative Medicine, UZH

Prof. Christian Stockmann

Prof. Christian Stockmann, Assistant Professor Institute of Anatomy, UZH

Prof. Didier Surdez

Prof. Didier Surdez, Oncology, Balgrist

Prof. Sònia Tugues

Prof. Sònia Tugues, Assistant Professor, Institute of Experimental Immunology, UZH

Prof. Susanne Wegener

Prof. Susanne Wegener, Department of Neurology, University Hospital Zurich

Our mission.

The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Zurich is one of the world’s leading health institutions.

Research at the Faculty of Medicine involves the areas of innovation, translation, and implementation.

Through freedom of research and by providing outstanding infrastructure, the Faculty of Medicine fosters excellence in research and trains the next generation of physician scientists.

The resulting diversity in broadest sense empowers us to improve human health through research and translation of novel knowledge.

We provide fertile soil to our basic researchers and physician scientists working in research institutions at the University of Zurich or at one of our academic hospitals.

  • University Hospital Zurich
  • University Childrens’ Hospital Zurich
  • Balgrist University Hospital
  • Psychiatric University Hospital

Contact: Prof. Maries van den Broek , Vice-Dean for Research

Research Programs and Technology Platforms

National center of competence in research.

The University of Zurich and the Faculty of Medicine are part of prestigious National Centers of Competence in Research (NCCRs). These large programs are multidisciplinary and involve different Swiss universities. National Center of Competence in Research

Hochschulmedizin Zurich

“Hochschulmedizin Zurich” supports multidisciplinary research projects in biomedicine and therefore, promotes the sustainable building of novel science networks, competence centers and platforms in Zurich. Hochschulmedizin UZH

The LOOP Zurich

The LOOP Zurich is a translational research center with a focus on biomedicine and bioinformatics. The LOOP Zurich supports projects that optimally exploit the unique and complementing expertise of the University of Zurich, the ETH Zurich and our four academic hospitals in a concerted action. The LOOP Zurich

University Research Priority Programs

The University of Zurich has installed University Research Priority Programs (URPPs) that support innovative, high-risk/high-gain, cross-faculty research consortia. URPPs are supported for 12 years and oftentimes yield sustainable research networks and platforms. University Research Priority Programs

Clinical Research Priority Programs

Like URPPs, the Clinical Research Priority Programs (CRPPs) support multidisciplinary consortia withing the Faculty of Medicine. Fostering physician scientists is an important goal of these programs.

Core Facilities and Technology Platforms

The University of Zurich offers state-of-the-art core facilities and technology platforms to researchers on all academic levels. Technology Platforms

Open Science

On September 28, 2021, the executive board of the university approved the open science policy. The aim is to establish Open Science as the norm.

Open Access of publications (SNSF)

Submitting publications to ZORA – step by step

Depositing a publication in ZORA (pre-print, post-print or publisher’s PDF; Green Open Access) – step by step

University Library on Open Access Publication

Research involving Animals

The University of Zurich has a policy of transparency concerning research involving animals. The Faculty of Medicine stands up for the necessity of animal experimentation in a respectful and responsible way.

More information can be found here Research involving animals

Ethics and Data Protection

By using the “Data Protection and Ethics Self-Assessment Tool” (DESAT), researchers can assess, whether their research project involves any data protection and ethical issues that require further investigations. More information can be found here: Data Protection and Ethics Self-Assessment Tool

Clinical research usually requires approval by the Cantonal Ethics Commitee (KEK); using DESAT helps to evaluate, whether the research project falls into the scope of the Human Research Act. More information can be found here: Kantonale Ethikkommission

UZH Department of Data Protection

The UZH Department of Data Protection can be contacted for consulation in case os specific data protection issues. More information can be found here: UZH Department of Data Protection

USZ Clinical Trial Center

The Clinical Trial Center of the University Hospital Zurich supports researchers in finding solutions for data protection and ethical issues. More information can be found here: USZ Clinical Trials Center

Commissions

Commission for Research Strategy

The commission for research strategy supports the faculty in implementing pursuing its mission.

Members: Prof. Matthias Baumgartner Prof. Maries van den Broek Prof. Sebastian Jessberger Prof. Klaas Enno Stephan Prof. Bruno Weber Prof. Claudia Witt

Contact: Prof. Maries van den Broek

Research Commission of the Faculty of Medicine

The research commission is responsible for reviewing grant applications submitted to local foundations as well as to university research programs. The members of the research commission represent the individual disciplines of our faculty.

Prof. Adriano Aguzzi  Prof. Matthias Baumgartner Prof. Burkhard  Becher Prof. Felix Beuschlein Prof. Maries van den Broek Prof. Olivier Devuyst Prof. Oliver Distler Prof. Raimund Dutzler Prof. Daniel Eberli Prof. Thomas Frauenfelder Prof. Ana Guerreiro Stücklin Prof. Simon Hoerstrup Prof. Sebastian Jessberger Prof. Ronald Jung Prof. Brigitte Leeners Prof. Kuno Lehmann Prof. Mitch Levesque Prof. Holger Moch Prof. Anne Müller Prof. Milo Puhan Prof. Boris Quednow Prof. Gerhard Rogler Prof. Frank Ruschitzka Prof. Erich Seifritz  Prof. Lukas Sommer Prof. Klaas Enno Stephan Prof. Silke Sterz Prof. Dominik Straumann Prof. Arnold von Eckardstein Prof. Annelies Zinkernagel

Assistant Professors

Our assistant professors have a background in medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, or life sciences and work as basic scientists or physician scientists. We offer individual mentoring meetings once a year as well as a biannual community-building event ( APéro).

APAC_e (PDF, 100 KB)

Program_APéro (PDF, 97 KB)

Master and PhD programs

Master of science in medical biology.

The Faculty of Science offers a Master of Science program for students of medicine, veterinary medicine, or dentistry.

Master of Science in Biomedicine

PhD Programs

The University of Zurich hosts a unique diversity of PhD programs (graduate schools) dedicated to life sciences.

Four programs are hosted by the Faculty of Medicine:

  • Care & Rehabilitation Science
  • Clinical Science
  • Biomedical Ethics and Law

A complete list and further information about all PhD programs in the Life Science Graduate School Zurich can be found here

  • All PhD-Programs

Research Funding

Overview of funding programs.

An overview of funding programs can be found here Research Funding

Funding Opportunities for Physician Scientists

The Faculty of Medicine has established two unique funding programs to promote the career of physician scientists. Both competitive programs cover protected research time, thus enabling the balancing act between clinical duties and research. Grantees will be mentored throughout the grant period.

Filling the Gap is a 2-year career development plan  Filling the Gap

ERC-for-me specifically supports physician scientists by protected time to conceive and write an ERC Starting Grant or ERC Consolidator Grant. Currently, Switzerland is excluded from the ERC programs, but the SNSF covers this vacuum ( SNSF Starting Grants ). Therefore, physician scientists are emphatically invited to submit ERC-for-me proposals. ERC-for-me - Guidelines (PDF, 157 KB)

Foundations

Various local foundations offer funding opportunities researchers of the Faculty of Medicine.

List of foundations that support research in (bio)medicine: Foundations and Awards

List of foundations that support research in specific areas: Stiftungen und Preise (PDF, 419 KB)

MeF Connects

Mef connects (pdf, 925 kb).

Cutting Edge Topics: Seminars in Immunology & Infection Biology

Lecture series in Molecular Life Sciences

Seminars in Evolutionary Medicine

Oncology Seminar Series

Seminars Institute of Molecular Cancer Research

Seminars at the Institute of Anatomy  

Seminars at the Institute of Physiology  

Seminars at the Department of Quantitative Biomedicine

Seminars at the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology

ERC, SNSF assistant professorships, NCCR and URPP in the Faculty of Medicine

Erc starting grants (incl. snsf grants during unassociated status of switzerland in 2014 and from 2021 onward), erc consolidator grants (incl. snsf grants during unassociated status of switzerland in 2014 and from 2021 onward), erc advanced grants (incl. snsf grants during unassociated status of switzerland in 2014 and from 2021 onward), erc synergy grants, snsf-ambizione, -prima and -eccellenza, snsf prima fellowship (2017-2021) , snsf assistant professors (until 2017), snsf eccellenza professorial fellowships (from 2018 onwards), nccr, ufsp , nccr, mef leading house, nccr with mef participation, ufsp, mef leading house, ufsp with mef participation.

  * expired

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Precision medicine built in Zurich keeps patients in the LOOP

Produced by

jsc zurich medical research center

The LOOP Zurich works to treat aggressive blood cancers and aims to increase the drug response rate for these cancers by 50%. Credit: Kateryna Kon/ Science Photo Library/ Getty Images

Despite incredible strides taken in cancer medicine over past decades, many patients endure a prolonged journey of trial and error, searching for the treatment that fits their unique needs. Cancer researchers now shift their focus to precision oncology. This method delves into the intricate details of each patient's cancer, uncovering specific mutations and molecular mechanisms. The goal is to develop personalized, tailored treatments, ensuring that the right drugs are given at the right time.

“There are direct and indirect challenges facing the development of precision oncology therapeutics,” explains Beatrice Beck Schimmer, vice president medicine at the University of Zurich (University Medicine Zurich, UMZH), Switzerland.

“The direct challenge is the fact that cancers are heterogenous, and the metastatic tumour often has a different molecular profile to the original,” says Beck Schimmer. This means that each tumour is like a rare disease, making it hard to stratify patients for clinical trials or for treatment.

“The indirect challenges include the legal, ethical and security issues with the vast quantities of data, along with the costs,” she adds. “We can't change the indirect challenges, but we can support the research.”

jsc zurich medical research center

The Zurich research community collaborates to tackle the biggest challenges in precision medicine. Credit: The LOOP Zurich

Rising to the precision oncology challenge

The LOOP Zurich brings together basic biomedicine and bioinformatics research from ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich with clinical research from the city’s four university hospitals. Its goal is to improve the understanding of disease through analysing patient data and improve outcomes by driving forward translational research and precision medicine to develop new drugs and increase the precision of existing treatments. This cross-institutional and cross-disciplinary approach allows synergies between the researchers, and more efficient use of resources.

“We are establishing a data platform across the six partner institutions, the BioMedical Informatics Platform (BMIP),” says Markus Rudin, founding director of The LOOP Zurich. Expected to be in place by 2025, BMIP is aligned with the Swiss Personalized Health Network, a Swiss national initiative that is developing, implementing and validating coordinated data infrastructures. BMIP ensures consistency in data input and allows researchers to have access to critical patient-specific data. “This also has applications beyond oncology.”

The LOOP Zurich supports scientists working in a range of disease areas such as neurorehabilitation, infectious diseases, immunology and metabolic disorders, and oncology. The LOOP oncology project ‘INTeRCePT’ is headed by Thorsten Zenz, a member of both the CCCZ and The LOOP Zurich. INTeRCePT as a five-year program focuses on aggressive blood cancers, including lymphoma and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in children and adults. It aims to increase the drug response rate for these cancers by 50% through precision medicine, driven by multiomics and artificial intelligence.

The project started in 2021 and will run until 2026. In the first 3 years, researchers test normal and cancerous blood samples from patients who have relapsed, analysing them at single-cell level to determine the precise molecular state. Researchers also use computational analysis to construct a detailed single-cell map of responses to all the drugs used in treatment. The goal is to discover personalized regimens, based on the patient’s disease type and status, that have the highest impact on the chance of recovery.

“In the fourth and fifth year, clinical studies will aim to demonstrate proof-of-principle of the personalized approach,” says Rudin. “This will be a major challenge, but if successful it will have a huge impact. Patients are at the heart of our research.”

Banking data from the silo

The LOOP Zurich is closely associated with the CCCZ and the TPC.

“Clinical and basic science data availability has grown exponentially,” said Andreas Wicki, director of clinical programmes at the CCCZ. “We can generate tens of thousands of data points — up to half a terabyte — from a patient within a couple of weeks.”

The CCCZ is an oncology centre of excellence based at the University of Zurich, University Hospital Zurich, Balgrist University Hospital and the University Children's Hospital Zurich. It combines clinical cancer medicine and cutting-edge research to develop innovative diagnostic and therapeutic concepts towards precision oncology and patient-focused care .

At CCCZ, cancer patients receive high standards of precision care. Some treatments include robotic or minimally invasive tumor surgery, modern radiotherapy technologies, targeted system therapies and immunotherapies. The centre has up to 3,000 new patients each year, who get access to experienced and talented physicians.

“This flow through of patients allows researchers access to patient histories and samples, and plenty of data for machine learning,” says Wicki. “In some research centres and clinics, the data remain in silos. But all data from patients at the CCCZ can flow into machine learning algorithms.”

jsc zurich medical research center

Workflow of the Tumour Profile Centre: Using -omics data to predict best therapies in patients with cancer. Credit: Tumor Profiler Center

The TPC is a consortium of the University of Zurich, ETH Zurich and the University Hospital Basel —involving more than 100 clinicians and researchers. It has 11 research platforms to learn more about the mechanisms of cancer development and the associated genetic, biochemical and cellular changes through omics technologies. TPC’s efforts are to better understand and predict tumour cell response to cancer medication.

“The TPC has fantastic multiomics capabilities, which it combines with computational approaches,” says Beck Schimmer.

The research amasses a large volume of data from each patient, which is analysed using AI and machine learning, creating a cancer molecular profile.

“The platforms look at the entire signalling pathways and the environment to characterize the tumour,” says Wicki. The profile is then assessed by the Molecular Tumour Board, a group of researchers and oncologists who advise on personalized treatment for the patient. “This happens within two weeks to ensure timely treatment,” he adds.

Growing in Zurich

jsc zurich medical research center

Zurich is a picturesque lake town with a collaborative research community with University of Zurich, ETH Zurich and University Hospital located door-to-door. Credit: The Loop Zurich

“Nobody can know everything,” says Wicki. He emphasizes that working as part of an interdisciplinary and interinstitutional organization opens access to a breadth of services and interventions for patients, and to cutting-edge science research.

“Talking to biologists, psychologists, physicians and bioinformaticians, we have worked to find a common language,” he adds. “It's been a challenge but it's paying off.”

For more information on the fantastic research happening at University Medicine Zurich (UMZH) and its research institutions The LOOP Zurich, CCCZ and TPC, visit the following websites:

The LOOP Zurich

jsc zurich medical research center

Quick links

  • Explore articles by subject
  • Guide to authors
  • Editorial policies

We are developing multi-specific antibody-based immunotherapies for inflammation and cancer.

Reproducible plug-and-play therapeutic design process using proprietary platforms λ-Cap™ and MATCH™ puts Numab in a unique position to overcome historical drug discovery barriers and build a pipeline of new and important medicines aimed to maximize patient benefits. Diverse research pipeline spans multiple therapeutic areas and creates the opportunity for the next generation of first-in-class and best-in-class medicines. Our lead candidate NM26, a unique multi-specific targeting IL-4/13 and IL-31 for best-in-class efficacy, is developed with a vision of delivering a lifelong cure to patients suffering from atopic dermatitis and other potential indications. Multiple partnerships with leading pharma companies validate the platform and development capabilities.

Management Team

Tea gunde vp discovery.

Tea joined Numab in 2011, establishing Numab’s antibody discovery platform. From 2004 to 2011 Tea was Head of PK & PD at ESBATech where she was responsible for the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic characterization of antibody fragments. She led preclinical discovery and development projects in the field of ophthalmology and immuno-oncology. Tea was instrumental in the discovery and preclinical development of brolucizumab/Beovu®, a best-in-class anti-VEGF fragment for the treatment of age-related macular edema, launched by Novartis. She graduated with a degree in Molecular Biology and Immunology and obtained her PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Zurich.

Roland Helfenstein Chief Financial Officer

Roland joined Numab in 2011. Prior to his current position, Roland worked for 7 years in the banking industry in Switzerland and Asia with positions in marketing, customer experience management, business process management and information technology. Roland holds a Licenciate in Economics and Business Administration and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Corporate Finance, both from the University of Zurich.

Peter Lichtlen Chief Medical Officer

Peter is the Chief Medical Officer and a co-founder of Numab. He holds an MD as well as a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Zurich. In 2000 Peter joined ESBATech where he led several preclinical and clinical development projects with antibody fragments in oncology, inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases as the Head of Clinical R&D. In particular, he designed the clinical proof-of-concept trial for brolucizumab/Beovu®, a best-in-class anti-VEGF fragment for the treatment of age-related macular edema, launched by Novartis. In 2011 Peter joined Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, where he became the company’s Chief Medical Officer. In this function, he managed the global clinical development portfolio and held overall responsibility for Medical Affairs and Pharmacovigilance and was responsible for interactions with major regulatory agencies as well as HTA bodies, leading to successful NDAs, MAAs and STAs. After the acquisition by Mallinckrodt in 2018, Peter joined Numab as a full-time Chief Medical Officer.

Taryn Losch Beridon VP Clinical Operations and Regulatory Affairs

Taryn joined the Numab team in January 2021 to build and lead the Clinical Operations and Regulatory Affairs functions for the organization. Prior to joining Numab, Taryn served in key leadership positions at Sucampo Pharmaceuticals (now Mallinckrodt) and Mahana Therapeutics, where she played a pivotal role in obtaining global marketing authorizations for Amitiza® capsules and, later, for Parallel™, the first FDA-approved prescription-only digital therapeutic (PDT) intended for use in adults with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). She earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Gettysburg College and later obtained her Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University.

Sebastian Meyer Chief Operating Officer

Sebastian is Numab’s Chief Operating Officer and oversees the project management, quality assurance, human resource, and support functions. He joined Numab in 2012 to head the engineering and process development group. He is an inventor of the λ-Cap™ stable scaffold and MATCH™ multispecific format technologies underlying Numab’s pipeline assets. Before joining Numab, Sebastian was responsible for DSP and analytics development at ESBATech, focusing on novel scFv drug candidates in Phase I/II of clinical development, including brolucizumab/Beovu®, a best-in-class anti-VEGF fragment for the treatment of age-related macular edema, launched by Novartis. Prior to this, Sebastian was a bioprocess development group leader at Cytos Biotechnology. Sebastian graduated with a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Hamburg and received his PhD and eMBA from the University of Zurich.

Oliver Middendorp Chief Business Officer

Oliver is the Chief Business Officer and a co-founder of Numab. From 2004 until 2010, he was at ESBATech as Head of Alliance Management and responsible for intellectual property. After the acquisition by Alcon in September 2009, Oliver became a member of Alcon’s R&D Alliance Group, tasked with search, evaluation, negotiations and alliance management of collaborations, while remaining Head of Alliance Management at ESBATech, and a member of the ESBATech Management. Oliver studied Molecular Biology and Immunology at the University of Zurich and received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Basel in 2004.

James Singleton General Counsel

James is General Counsel of Numab and Secretary of the Numab Board of Directors. Prior to joining Numab in October 2021, James served as General Counsel for Waypoint Capital (US) and its healthcare fund Gurnet Point Capital from 2016 to 2021, and served on the board of Boston Pharmaceuticals, Tremeau Pharmaceuticals and Auregen BioTherapeutics. From 2004 to 2016, James held senior legal leadership positions at Serono International and, following Merck’s acquisition of Serono, Merck KGaA, serving as Head of Legal for Serono R&D, Merck’s corporate venture fund Merck Ventures, Merck Biopharma Global Business Development and Merck Biosimilars. James received his Juris Doctor degree from NYU School of Law and his Bachelor of Arts degree from State University of New York at Albany.

Daniel Snell Senior VP Research and Preclinical Development

Dan joined Numab in 2019. He began his career in industry at Oxford Glycosciences, UK in 2002 developing antibody-based therapeutics in the field of Oncology. He then spent 7 years at Genzyme, a Sanofi company, where he helped to establish the antibody therapeutics group of Genzyme in Cambridge, UK. He led the protein engineering and molecular biology teams and was responsible for leading therapeutic programs in oncology and immunology. Dan moved to Switzerland in 2012 and worked for Molecular Partners as VP, Biology and led a team responsible for the preclinical biological characterization of protein-based therapeutics in immune-oncology, oncology, immunology, and ophthalmology. He was also instrumental in collaborations with Roche, Janssen, Allergan and Immunogen. Dan holds a PhD in molecular immunology from the University of Reading and performed a postdoc at the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Oxford, where he studied signaling pathways of platelet activation.

Martin Stern Senior VP Clinical Science

Martin joined Numab in 2023. He holds an MD from Basel University, where he also spent more than a decade practicing oncology and hematology with a focus on hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and led the cancer immunotherapy laboratory at the Department of Biomedicine. Martin left academia in 2014 to join Roche Pharma Research and Early Development where he spent the next 8 years bringing cancer immunotherapy molecules into early clinical development. Prior to joining Numab, he led the clinical development group at Affivant, a biotech focusing on innate immune cell engagers.

David Urech Chief Executive Officer

David is the Chief Executive Officer and a co-founder of Numab. Prior to starting Numab, David was Head of Research & Development at ESBATech, where he conceived and implemented ESBATech’s antibody discovery platform. He was responsible for the discovery and preclinical development of brolucizumab/Beovu®, a best-in-class anti-VEGF fragment for the treatment of age-related macular edema, launched by Novartis. David holds an MSc in Molecular Biology and Neurosciences from the University of Zurich, and a PhD in Biochemistry from the Biocenter in Basel.

Elmar vom Baur VP Project and Alliance Management

Elmar joined Numab in 2020 as project leader of its development projects and is now heading the project and alliance management team at Numab. He has 20 years of project and alliance management experience in biotech and pharma, including at Serono, Merck Serono, Novo Nordisk and Molecular Partners. During this time Elmar brought as project leader numerous projects in oncology and inflammation into clinical development. Before moving to biotech, Elmar obtained a Master’s in biotechnology engineering from the ESBS in Strasbourg, a PhD in cellular and molecular biology from the University of Strasbourg, and performed a Postdoc at Harvard Medical School in the department of Biological Chemistry & Molecular Pharmacology.

Stefan Warmuth Senior VP Technology and CMC

Stefan is responsible for the CMC activities at Numab including protein engineering, analytics, and formulation, USP and DSP development. Before joining Numab in 2015, Stefan worked in pharmaceutical development at CSL Behring, focusing on process development and optimization to support clinical production and up-scaling. Stefan studied biochemistry in Tübingen and Zurich and graduated with a degree in Biochemistry from the ETH Zurich and obtained his PhD in Structural Biology and Biochemistry from the University of Zurich.

Board of Directors

Michael k. bauer director, chairman compensation committee.

Michael Bauer was appointed to the Numab Board of Directors in June 2021. He currently holds the position as Venture Partner at Novo Holdings. From 2006-2020, Michael was employed at Genmab in various positions with increasing responsibility, starting in Project Management taking daratumumab / DARZALEX® into clinical development. Between 2010-2018 he led Clinical Development and was part of the senior leadership team that repositioned and rebuilt the company into a global cancer and antibody powerhouse. From 2018 he led R&D Operations preparing the company for filing of its first own product. Prior to Genmab, Michael worked as an Associate at BankInvest Biomedical Venture and as Licensing Associate in Scientific Licensing at Novo Nordisk, after having spent 7 years as Research Scientist at Novo Nordisk covering areas such as endocrinology, metabolic disease, cancer, and inflammation.

Before joining the industry, Michael worked for 6 years at the Research Centre for Developmental Medicine & Biology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, investigating causes and possible treatment modalities of intra-uterine growth restriction. Michael earned a Masters (Dipl. Ing. agr.) in Agricultural Science from the University of Stuttgart-Hohenheim, Germany, and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Science – summa cum laude – from the University of Göttingen, Germany.

Michael currently has no additional board seats.

Laura Brege Director, Chairman Audit Committee

Laura Brege was appointed to the Numab Board of Directors in August 2023. She is a Senior Advisor at BridgeBio Pharma (NASDAQ: BBIO), a clinical stage biotechnology company developing novel, genetically targeted therapies. Prior to joining BridgeBio Pharma, Ms. Brege served as Managing Director of Cervantes Life Science Partners, LLC., a health care advisory and consulting company. From 2012 to 2015, Laura served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Nodality, a privately held biotechnology company focused on oncology and immunology. Previously, Laura held several senior-level positions at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, (acquired by Amgen) from 2006 to 2011, including Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Before joining Onyx, she was a General Partner at Red Rock Capital Management, a venture capital firm specializing in early-stage financing for technology companies. Prior to Red Rock, she was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at COR Therapeutics. Earlier in her career, Laura served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Flextronics and Vice President and Treasurer of The Cooper Companies. Laura earned her undergraduate degree from Ohio University and has an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.

Laura serves on the boards of Acadia Pharmaceuticals, Mirum Pharmaceuticals, Pacira Pharmaceuticals, and Edgewise Therapeutics.

Matthias Fehr Director

Matthias Fehr was appointed to the Numab Board of Directors in June 2021. He currently holds the position of Head of Private Equity at HBM Partners. Matthias has more than twenty years of experience in private and public equity investment management and research. He is a former senior sell-side analyst at Lombard Odier for the biotech and medical technology industries.

Matthias is a former scientist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and holds an MSc and Ph.D. in chemistry from ETH Zurich. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst since 2002.

Matthias currently also serves on the board of Swixx Biopharma, Sphingotec, and Farmalatam.

Carlo Incerti Chairman of the Board

Carlo Incerti was appointed to the Numab Board of Directors in June 2021. He currently holds the position of Operating Partner at Forbion. A medical doctor by training, Carlo Incerti brings over three decades of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. He most recently held the position of Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Medical Affairs at Sanofi Genzyme.

Before his time at Sanofi and Genzyme, Carlo was a founding shareholder, Board member, and Chief Executive officer at Biofil S.r.l., a start-up active in the development, manufacturing, and commercialization of systems for leukocyte depletion of blood and derivatives, which was acquired by Fresenius Kabi of Germany in 1993.

Prior to joining the industry, Carlo was an Associate Professor of Endocrinology at the University of Modena, with a main research focus on thyroid diseases and sex hormones.

Carlo currently also serves on the board of Azafaros B.V. (Chairman), EryDel S.p.A (Chairman), Inversago Pharma (Chairman), VectorY (Chairman), and is a Founding Member and on the Consortium Assembly of IRDiRC, the International Rare Diseases Research Consortium.

Jing Lou Director

Jing Lou was appointed to the Numab Board of Directors in November 2022. Jing is a co-founder of 3SBio Group and currently serves as the chairman of the board of directors, the chief executive officer and president of 3SBio Group. He is responsible for the strategic development and planning, overall operational management and major decision making of 3SBio Group.

Jing has extensive experience in capital markets transactions and initial public offerings. He lead 3SBio’s IPO on Nasdaq, one of the few high profile IPOs in the U.S by Chinese pharmaceutical companies. Taking the opportunity of Hong Kong capital market, Jing successfully led the privatization and delisting of 3SBio Inc. from Nasdaq and relisting it on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Jing also lead the landmark acquisition of Sunshine Guojian, and subsequent listing of Sunshine Guojian on Shanghai Stock Exchange STAR Market.

Jing has been highly active in pharmaceutical research and has made substantial contribution to 3SBio Group’s R&D of pharmaceutical products. He was the leading scientist and principal investigator in 3SBio Group’s successful development of EPIAO and TPIAO. He co-invented a “preparation process for recombinant human thrombopoietin” and a “method for improving the stability of polypeptides in human bodies and its application” in 2000 and 2001, respectively. He has published in a number of academic journals on microbiology and medicinal biotechnology. His research has been recognized with various awards. In 2006, he was awarded the “First Prize of Shenyang Science and Technology Progress Award” for his research on recombinant human thrombopoietin. In 2007, he was awarded the “Third Prize of Liaoning Province Scientific and Technological Achievements” for his contribution to the industrialization of production of recombinant human thrombopoietin. In 2017, he was awarded “Liaoning Province Outstanding Entrepreneur” and “Friendship Award of Liaoning Province”.

Jing obtained a Bachelor of Medicine degree in clinical medicine from Shanghai Second Military Medical University in July 1985. He conducted post-doctoral research at the National Institutes of Health of the U.S. after obtaining a Ph.D. degree in molecular and cell biology from Fordham University in the U.S. in February 1994. He also obtained an Executive Master of Business Administration from China Europe International Business School in September 2008.

Oliver Middendorp Director

David urech director, scientific advisors immunology.

Lisa Beck, MD. is a Lowell A. and Carol A. Goldsmith Professor in Dermatology at the Department of Dermatology, at the University of Rochester, NY. She was the lead author of the 2014 New England Journal of Medicine dupilumab paper that set the stage for the FDA approval of this drug in March 2017. She is the Co-Director of the URMC Center for Allergic Disease Research (CADR) which was recently chosen as one of four US centers with the World Allergy Organizations Center of Excellence designation.

Thomas Bieber

Thomas Bieber, MD, PhD. is a Professor for Dermatology and Allergology at the University of Bonn, Germany. He is the Chief Editor of Allergy, the official Journal of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) and he serves as a board member of several national and international societies.

Michael J. Cork

Michael J. Cork, BSc MB PhD FRCP is a Professor of Dermatology at the Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease at the University of Sheffield UK. He is a member of the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) clinical guideline development group for the treatment of Atopic Eczema in children.

Mette Deleuran

Mette Deleuran, MD, DMSc. is a Professor and the Chairman at the Department of Dermatology at the Aarhus University Hospital, in Aarhus, Denmark. She specializes in dermatology with a focus on atopic dermatitis and inflammatory skin diseases. Her research includes basic science, epidemiology and clinical studies and she is a founding member of the International Society of Atopic Dermatitis.

Scientific Advisors Oncology

Robert l. ferris.

Robert L. Ferris, M.D., Ph.D. is the Director of the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center of the University of Pittsburgh, where he is a Professor of Oncology and Immunology and a Co-Director of the Tumor Microenvironment Center. Robert is a leading expert in the immuno-biology and treatment of head and neck cancer. He has been the principal investigator in multiple Phase I-III clinical trials and his research is focused on cellular immune mechanisms of natural killer (NK) cells, dendritic cells, and T lymphocyte activation against head and neck cancer tumor antigens.

Matthew Galsky

Matthew Galsky, M.D., is a Professor of Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology and a Professor of Urology at the Icahn School of Medicine at the Mount Sinai Health Systems hospitals in New York. Matthew also serves as Director of Genitourinary Medical Oncology at the Tisch Cancer Institute. He specializes in the care of patients with genitourinary malignancies (i.e. bladder and kidney cancer). His research focuses on the development of novel treatments for these cancers, and he uses team-science based approaches to understand sensitivity and resistance to such therapies.

David Hong, M.D., is a Professor of Medicine and the Associate Vice President of Clinical Research at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Throughout his career, he has developed an interest in studying the efficacy of novel drug combinations in patients with solid tumors. Recently his research endeavors have focused on developing personalized therapies for patients, whose tumors bear specific genetic mutations/amplifications and combining targeted therapies with immunotherapies.

Ignacio Melero

Ignacio Melero, M.D., Ph.D., is professor of immunology at the Academic Hospital of Navarra and at the Center for Applied Medical Research (CIMA) of the University of Navarra. He leads a group working in translational tumor immunotherapy with emphasis on cell therapy, cytokine gene therapy, and immune-stimulatory monoclonal antibodies. Earlier in his career, he contributed to seminal discoveries in the function Natural Killer cells, and T-cell co-stimulation via CD137 (4-1BB). Ignacio has been awarded the BIAL Prize of Medicine, the Conde de Cartagena Award from the Royal Academy of Medicine, Doctor Durantez LAIR Foundation Award and a CRI research award. He has served on advisory boards of Bristol Myers-Squibb, Roche-Genentech, AstraZeneca, Merck Serono and Boehringer Ingelheim, and holds research grants by Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Alligator.

Mario Sznol

Mario Sznol, M.D., is a Professor of Medicine (Medical Oncology). Mario, formerly with the National Cancer Institute, has an international reputation in cancer drug development. His expertise and experience is in cancer immunotherapy, drug development for cancer, and treatment of patients with melanoma and renal cell carcinoma. He is working to expand the opportunities for clinical trials at the Yale Cancer Center, particularly those focusing on immunotherapy and novel agents.

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Targeted therapies thanks to biomedical informatics

The new “LOOP Zurich - Medical Research Center” promotes patient-focused therapies – for example in oncology and neuro-rehabilitation. To achieve its goals, the center brings together specialist knowledge in the fields of biomedicine, clinical research and bioinformatics from the University of Zurich, ETH Zurich as well as Zurich’s four university hospitals.

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Medical doctor in front of computer screens

Patients differ. The more precise the diagnosis and the more targeted the therapy, the better the individual needs of patients can be met. This is the goal of The LOOP Zurich . The new translational research center wants to improve our basic understanding of diseases to develop therapies that are tailored to the individual. To this end, it combines basic research in biomedicine and bioinformatics from the University of Zurich (UZH) and ETH Zurich with clinical research from Zurich's university hospitals – the University Hospital Zurich (USZ), the University Children’s Hospital Zurich (KiSpi), the University Hospital Balgrist and the University Hospital of Psychiatry Zurich (PUK).

The hospitals’ unparalleled access to patients and the combined research infrastructures at UZH and ETH provide The Loop Zurich with a unique starting point. “We’re bringing together the best researchers in biomedical research, clinical research and bioinformatics to conduct innovative research together,” says Beatrice Beck-Schimmer, Vice President Medicine at UZH. Detlef Günther, Vice President for Research at ETH Zurich and Chair of the Executive Board of the University Medicine Zurich initiative, adds: “We have the basic research, innovative diagnostics and specialist knowledge in handling medical data to frame and answer excellent scientific questions together. If we can tap into the interdisciplinary potential of The LOOP Zurich , we will also succeed in bringing the benefits of innovation to patients in the clinics as quickly as possible.” The cooperation is expected to bolster precision medicine at the Zurich research hub.

Built on biomedical informatics

One of the new center’s core competencies is in biomedical informatics. To develop bespoke therapies for patients, the research center wants to use improved data analysis and data modeling to gain new insights in diagnostics, therapy and prevention.

The involved institutions have large data collections, but they don’t yet share the research infrastructure needed to exchange and benefit from this medical data in a suitable way. This is set to change with the center’s new biomedical informatics platform, which will be based on the standards of the Swiss Personalized Health Network , the Swiss government’s initiative to make health data interoperable and accessible for research. The new platform will make previously unused data available for use in clinical decision support systems. 

First focal points defined

The center recently launched the first two research consortia, each funded to the tune of CHF 5 million over the next five years (see below). The researchers involved will work hand in hand to develop novel precision therapies in the fields of oncology and neurorehabilitation. “The projects were chosen for their scientific excellence, and because Zurich has proven specialist knowledge in these areas. This allows us to take on an important role internationally,” explains Markus Rudin, Founding Director of The LOOP Zurich .

Personalized rehabilitation

The research consortium StimuLOOP led by Professor Andreas Luft (UZH) and Professor Roger Gassert (ETH Zurich) explores motor rehabilitation in stroke and Parkinson’s patients. “We want to use personalized rehabilitation therapies to improve the patients’ movement in the long term,” says neurologist Andreas Luft. 

virtual rehabilitation therapy

Two clinical trials are planned, each with around 50 stroke or Parkinson’s patients testing new training and consolidation methods. The researchers intend to use virtual reality to correct deficits in the stroke patients’ gait, e.g. restricted flexion of the knees. This involves the subjects exploring virtual surroundings while on a treadmill and receiving targeted feedback to enable their movement to return to normal. In the second phase of the study, the patients’ newly acquired walking skills will be consolidated. This will be done by monitoring and modulating the subjects’ sleep, as previous studies conducted in Zurich have demonstrated that deep sleep improves patients’ consolidation processes. Here the researchers will use portable technology from the Sleep Loop , one of the University Medicine Zurich’s flagship projects.

In contrast, the training method for Parkinson’s patients relies on deep brain simulation through implanted electrodes. The study will allow patients to observe the targeted nerve signals in the lab in front of a computer, and to then learn how to influence these signals through neurofeedback. By specifically regulating their brain activity while awake, the patients can quickly improve their gait and mobility. As with the stroke patients, they too will consolidate their newly learned motor skills using sleep modulation.  

By collecting the same type of data for both groups of patients, it will be possible for the first time to compare the gait and learning processes of stroke and Parkinson’s patients. The project brings together researchers and clinical therapists from UZH, ETH Zurich, USZ and KiSpi. 

Precision treatments for blood cancer patients

A wide range of treatments is available to children or adults suffering from lymphoma, malignant lymphocytes in the lymph nodes or bone marrow, or acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). In many cases the cancer may reappear because patients are not responding to the treatments sufficiently. It is not yet known exactly which cancer drugs are the right ones for each patient. This is where the INTeRCePT research project co-led by UZH hematology professor Thorsten Zenz comes in.

Blood cells

What’s new is that the scientists will investigate the biomolecular reactions in ultra-high resolution at the level of individual cells. “This will help us understand the heterogeneity of tumor and normal immune cells, and their interactions,” explains Thorsten Zenz. The goal is to use this method to test all approved cancer drugs for leukemia and lymphoma. Using computational analysis, the scientists will create a detailed map that illustrates which cells respond in which way to the drug’s active ingredients – and thus improve predictions about the effects of the drugs.

This is a slightly abbreviated version of an article by Nathalie Huber, which appeared in UZH News.

Further information

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Center for Molecular Cardiology

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The Center for Molecular Cardiology  situated in the Campus Schlieren ,  is co-headed by Prof. T.F. Lüscher and Prof. G.G. Camici and is part of the Medical  F aculty of the University of Zurich.

Photo: UZH-Campus-Schlieren

The Center is composed by several research groups each focusing on different aspects of translational research in cardiovascular physiology. In particular, the group led by Prof. Thomas F. Lüscher focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlying myocardial infarction; the group headed by Prof. Giovanni G. Camici studies the pathogenesis of vascular aging and stroke with particular emphasis on aging, inflammation and free radicals; the group led by Prof. Jürg Beer investigates the cardioprotective effects of alpha linolenic acid and platelets; the group of Prof. Cathérine Gebhard focuses on the role of sex and gender on cardiovascular disease while the group of PD Dr. Simon Stämpfli is interested in cardiac amyloidosis and arterial thrombosis.

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Heart for Science

The cardiovascular research laboratory was first founded in the early nineties at the University & University Hospital of Basel in Switzerland by Prof. Thomas F. Lüscher. Currently, the Center for Molecular Cardiology (CMC), led by Prof. Giovanni G. Camici and Prof. Thomas F. Lüscher, counts 10 research groups with specific focuses spanning across the wide spectrum of key topics in cardiovascular research. Owing to the outstanding contribution made by the scientists working at the CMC over the last decades, knowledge of the mechanisms underlying cardiovascular disorders has increased considerably, leading to improved health care quality. We wish you an enjoyable time as you peruse our brochure focusing on cardiovascular research which indeed, is a matter very close to our hearts. For the benefit of future patients, we would like to take you along this exciting journey. Read the full brochure

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Visionary Research for Tomorrow’s Healthcare

The LOOP Zurich is a translational research center in Zurich, with a focus on precision medicine*. It combines the strength in basic research in biomedicine and bioinformatics of the two universities in Zurich, ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich, with clinical research from the city’s four university hospitals. The hospitals’ unparalleled access to patients and in-depth knowledge of their needs together with the research infrastructures at the University of Zurich and ETH will enable the implementation of novel and innovative strategies for translational research projects.

The goal of The LOOP Zurich is to improve the understanding of disease based on patient-derived material and information. Modern analytics, bioinformatics and data processing tools, capable of handling large data collections, will generate new insights into the understanding of origins and course of diseases, and thereby facilitate the development of innovative, disease-modifying therapies in order to meet the needs of individual patients efficiently and comprehensively.

Video: What is precision medicine?

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* Under the term  precision medicine we understand the customization of healthcare measures to the individual patient, or more precisely, to the specific molecular make-up linked to a pathology.

Built on Biomedical Informatics

The Loop Zürich projects will benefit from access to large patient databases and biobanks that constitute a tremendous resource of biomedical information. Correspondingly, bioinformatics including machine learning tools will play a critical role in this context.

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INTeRCePT Retreat in Stels GR

29.01.2024 18:16

At an altitude of 1280 meters above sea level, the seven research groups of the INTeRCePT consortium gathered for a retreat in a former recuperation home for Grison farmwomen. The 2024 agenda though called for an intensive engagement with this collaborative research project.

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The LOOP Zurich 2023

19.12.2023 17:53

The second annual event hosted by The LOOP Zurich proved to be an enlightening and forward-looking gathering, focusing on the pivotal role of data in shaping the future of medicine. Titled "Daten für die Medizin der Zukunft" (Data for the Medicine of the Future), the event delved into the significance of data as the primary fuel for advancing precision medicine

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Long COVID Syndrome - Personal Opinion and Recent Findings

19.10.2023 16:07

Long COVID syndrome remains an ill-defined clinical entity that may evolve months after an acute infection by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

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UMZH Feature in Nature Cancer

12.09.2023 15:19

Nature Cancer currently features University Medicine Zurich (UMZH) and its associated research institutions, including The LOOP Zurich, the Comprehensive Cancer Center Zurich (CCCZ), and the Tumor Profiling Center (TPC).

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150 million people worldwide are affected by urinary tract infections every year, often recurrent. The standard treatment is antibiotics, but these do not always help and can lead to resistance. Antibiotics also damage the “good” bacteria that are part of the microbiome in the urinary and intestinal tract. “We now want to harness this microbiome in the treatment of urinary tract infections,” says Professor Thomas Kessler, senior physician in neuro-urology at Balgrist University Hospital.

The new treatment will be developed under the auspices of the mTORUS project (microbiome-based Therapeutic Options for Recurrent Urinary Symptoms) funded over the next five years by The LOOP Zurich. "The LOOP Zurich enables unconventional and innovative research approaches in precision medicine for the benefit of patients. Central to this is the exchange of data between the participating institutions, for which we are establishing a biomedical informatics platform," says Beatrice Beck Schimmer, Director of University Medicine Zurich. With mTorus it’s a new step on two fronts for the researchers from the University of Zurich, ETH Zurich, Balgrist University Hospital, UniversityHospital Zurich and EPFL Lausanne. Firstly, they plan to fight the disease-causing bacteria with genetically adapted bacteriophages (called phages for short). Secondly, they will then transplant healthy microbiomes into patients’ urinary tracts to prevent future infections – this too is a novel procedure.

What is a healthy microbiome?

Before they can begin treating patients, however, the researchers need to get back to basics. “As a medical student, I was taught that the bladder is sterile and contains no bacteria,” says Kessler. Nowadays we know that like the gut, the urinary tract has its own microbiome, which is altered in people with a urinary tract infection. Little is known, in contrast, about what makes up a healthy microbiome in the urinary tract. This will therefore be the initial focus of the team’s research, along with the interaction between bacteria and the immune system. With the help of artificial intelligence, the researchers will analyze vast amounts of data from a great number of patients so that in the future, personalized therapies can be offered.

Old tradition

The new treatment will consist of two parts. First, the infection-causing bacteria will be destroyed by genetically altered phages. Phages are viruses that attack specific bacteria without damaging the rest of the microbiome. This method is over 100 years old, but following the introduction of antibiotics its use fell. It is still employed in a few countries, such as Georgia, and due to increasing antibiotic resistance, phages are now also enjoying a comeback elsewhere.

In recent years, the research team around Thomas Kessler and Professor Martin Loessler at ETH Zurich has managed to genetically alter phages to make them target the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections. The researchers are also working on improving phages’ ability to support the immune system. The phages are currently being tested in studies with animals, and by the end of 2023 should be ready to be trialed in clinical studies with humans.

Replacing the microbiome

Even once infection-causing bacteria have been killed off, patients still run the risk of getting new infections. This is because the microbiome of people who suffer recurring urinary tract infections is altered. This seems to affect the immune system, making it less effective at fending off infection.

If the mTORUS group succeeds in determining the composition of a healthy microbiome, the stage will be set for the next part of the planned therapy: transplanting a healthy microbiome into patients who suffer recurring urinary tract infections or are predisposed to them. The principle will be tested in an initial clinical study as part of the mTORUS project.

If all goes well, it could lead to a paradigm change in the treatment of urinary tract infections, as well as other types of bacterial infections: “We want to see medicine move away from antibiotics and toward the use of phages and healthy microbiomes,” says Kessler.

More targeted treatment for obesity

jsc zurich medical research center

The second project to receive support from The LOOP Zurich for the next five years is dedicated to another widespread health issue: obesity. Severe obesity can lead to a host of other problems – from diabetes and high blood pressure to an increased risk of tumors. “These secondary disorders pose a greater problem medically than obesity itself,” says Felix Beuschlein, UZH professor and director of the Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Clinical Nutrition at the UniversityHospital Zurich. While there are a few medications to treat obesity, and gastric bypass operations can help people lose weight, no precision therapies are available to date.

Led by Beuschlein, a consortium of researchers from UZH, ETH Zurich and the UniversityHospital Zurich now aims to change that with the LOOBesity project. Their research will focus on a subgroup making up around 10 percent of obese people. People in this group are particularly at risk of developing secondary disorders due to the way their metabolism functions. In these patients, the stress hormone cortisol is more active than usual and causes damage to fat cells in particular. The cortisol leads to inflammation in the fat cells, thus increasing the likelihood of further diseases.  

There are drugs that can slow down this increased cortisol activity, but until now they have not been used for obese patients, because physicians have no way of knowing who will benefit. “That’s why it’s important to develop a method of accurately and easily identifying patients with increased cortisol activation,” says Beuschlein.

From biopsies to MRIs

The LOOBesity research team plans to take biopsies of patients’ adipose tissue to investigate what effect cortisol actually has on fat cells at the level of individual cells – at present, little is known about this. In addition to the biopsies, the patients will undergo MRI scans. The researchers want to know whether the altered metabolism can also be precisely identified in the MRI images by algorithms – if so, it would no longer be necessary to conduct biopsies, which are costly and time-consuming.

Following the diagnostic stage, the second part of the project will focus on treatment. A clinical study will investigate whether the existing cortisol-modulating medications – which have not been used for obesity until now – actually bring any improvement for this group of patients.

A large amount of data will be gathered during the project. “In that regard, we are a typical LOOP project,” says project leader Beuschlein. “The aim is to use the data for further developments in precision medicine so that we can help those obese patients who are particularly affected by secondary disorders.”

The two projects on urinary tract infections and obesity were presented at a symposium on precision medicine on 13 December.

Adrian Ritter, Medicine Journalist; Caitlin Stephens UZH Communications

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Working with the support of a pipetting robot

Gut bacteria: the smart helper in the fight against cancer

The composition of the intestinal flora can have a decisive influence on whether immunotherapy used to treat cancer will be successful or not. Researchers at the University of Zurich and the University Hospital Zurich are pooling their strengths as part of the Cancer-MicroBiome project: the crack team of gastroenterologists, dermatologists, and oncologists are aiming to figure out the mechanisms that boost the immune system and thus put cancer in its place.

Prof. Dr. med. Michael Scharl Chief of Service in the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at University Hospital Zurich and professor of translational microbiome research at the University of Zurich +41 44 255 34 19 [email protected]

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University of Zurich University Hospital Zurich

Recovered patients donate their stool

At University Hospital Zurich, Marianne Schütz* is meeting gastroenterologist Prof. Michael Scharl for a consultation. She is one of five former cancer patients selected to play an important role in the Cancer- MicroBiome project being run by the Comprehensive Cancer Center Zurich. When Marianne was diagnosed with skin cancer five years ago, she was given immunotherapy. She is now tumor-free. In her case, the immunotherapy – known as immune checkpoint blockade – worked. Unlike chemotherapy or radiotherapy, this treatment does not kill the tumor, but pits the immune system against it by releasing a kind of «brake» holding back the immune cells so that they can tackle the tumor cells more aggressively.

Michael Scharl is a professor involved in translational microbiome research at the University of Zurich and in gastroenterology at University Hospital Zurich. He believes that, in addition to the immunotherapy, the microorganisms in Marianne Schütz’s intestine helped conquer her cancer. That is why she has now become a donor, because the composition of her intestinal flora – her microbiome – could help other cancer patients who have either not responded or not responded well enough to immune checkpoint blockade treatment. The process of transplanting bacteria from another person into a patient’s own intestine is also known among specialists as a fecal microbiota transplant (FMT). Small pilot studies have shown that stool transplants can support the treatment of patients with advanced melanoma. The Cancer-MicroBiome project team is now hoping to get to the bottom of this.

Michael Scharl describes the aim of the project as follows: «We want to figure out the key bacteria and molecular mechanisms between the microbiome and the immune system so that we can increase the effectiveness of immunotherapy in fighting cancer.» To achieve this, plans are being made at University Hospital Zurich to perform stool transplants on patients with skin, lung and other types of cancer who – unlike Marianne Schütz – have not responded to immunotherapy. The first stage, scheduled to begin in July 2022, involves transferring stool samples from people who have recovered from cancer to current cancer patients.

jsc zurich medical research center

They want to revolutionize cancer treatment – with the help of gut bacteria: Anne Müller, Michael Scharl, Mitchell Levesque (from left to right)

The hunt for medical clues

In parallel with the transplants, various researchers are looking into the connection between bacteria and the immune system. The basic hypothesis is that immune cells in the intestinal mucosa recognize signaling molecules produced by bacteria, which affect the immune response. «We already have our eye on various immunomodulators of this kind,» says Prof. Anne Müller, a professor of experimental medicine at the Institute of Molecular Cancer Research at the University of Zurich. She has been conducting research using mouse models and is working closely with Michael Scharl. The mice receive the same stool transplants as the patients at University Hospital Zurich, except that they are given to the animals orally. A mouse’s stomach is less acidic than a human’s, so the microbes can get into the intestine undamaged and unleash their effect.

Anne Müller hopes that the stool transplants will be seen to have a positive impact in animal models too. The idea here is to use this method to treat mice with cancer in parallel with the immunotherapy. The hope is not only that the stool transplants will make the tumors go away completely, but also that the researchers can gain a better understanding of the mechanism behind the effect of these transplants. «This will mean we can make a prognosis thanks to our work,» says Müller. «If we see that a particular donor’s stool is working in a mouse, it might also work in a human.»

Prof. Mitchell Levesque, a professor of experimental immunodermatology at the University of Zurich, is also involved in the project. He is looking for medical clues or signs, known as biomarkers, that could indicate why certain patient groups do not respond to immunotherapy. This is an area where researchers are still in the dark. They still do not know, for example, whether this is down to metabolites or the bacteria themselves boosting the immune system, or whether it is due to a lack of microbes.

Prof. Michael Scharl

Wants to increase the effectiveness of immunotherapy in fighting cancer: Michael Scharl in the laboratory at the Comprehensive Cancer Center Zurich.

Checkpoints block tumor cells

The immune system’s ability to distinguish between normal cells and harmful ones primarily depends on regulators known as checkpoints, which are attached to the surface of the powerful T-cells that form part of the immune defense. A healthy cell activates certain checkpoints on the surface of the T-cell and is therefore identified as a natural part of the body. Abnormal cells, even though they are recognized as such by the T-cells, activate the same checkpoints and thus deceive the immune system. This is where immunotherapy comes in. The checkpoints on tumor cells are blocked with the help of synthetic antibodies known as checkpoint inhibitors. No longer outwitted, the immune cells promptly turn on the malignant tissue in force. «Immune checkpoint blockade therapy has revolutionized cancer treatment,» Mitchell Levesque remarks emphatically. Nevertheless, the cancer continues to progress in a large proportion of patients because they are not responding to immunotherapy.

Transferring bacteria during colonoscopy

Scharl’s team of scientists is now taking a pragmatic approach. They are transplanting stool from five people who have had cancer but responded exceptionally well to immunotherapy and have now been cancer-free for several years into 25 cancer patients who have not had a successful experience with immunotherapy. Marianne Schütz is one of these «super donors.» After completing a safety check, which also covers known pathogens, her particular mix of bacteria is transferred to the large intestine of a test subject who has skin cancer. This is done by means of a colonoscopy procedure.

The microbiome: an innovative approach for precision oncology

It is not yet possible to make a clear distinction between good and bad microbes among the thousand or more different species of bacteria that are normally found in the human intestine. With their microbiome study, the researchers want to find out which bacterial species or microbiological products are conducive to an effective immune system. Analyses of the microbiome in the gut produce huge quantities of data – around 10 terabytes per patient. In addition to this, Scharl and his team are also collecting information from, for example, blood cells, serum, intestinal tissue, cancer tissue, and stool. All of this is being examined at molecular level. «We are looking at what kind of metabolites the bacteria produce and analyzing their effect on immune cells,» says Scharl.

These efforts are all in aid of improving future treatment for patients: in the long term, the interdisciplinary team under Michael Scharl, Anne Müller, and Michael Levesque hopes to be able to provide customized microbiome transplants. An even better outcome would be if the right microbe mix could eventually be prescribed in tablet form.

*Name changed by the editors.

Examination of the stool

Stool from cancer patients is examined at molecular level.

Anne Müller (Audio file in German)

«gut bacteria influence the effectiveness of immunotherapy».

Prof. Anne Müller is a professor of experimental medicine at the Institute of Molecular Cancer Research at the University of Zurich.

Prof. Anne Müller

Michael Scharl (Audio file in German)

«by transplanting stool, we can make immunotherapy more effective against cancer».

Prof. Michael Scharl is Chief of Service in the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at University Hospital Zurich and a professor of translational microbiome research at the University of Zurich.

Prof. Michael Scharl

Mitchell Levesque

«our study is revolutionary. it changes our perspective on how we treat cancer».

Prof. Mitchell Levesque is a research group leader in experimental immunodermatology in the Department of Dermatology at University Hospital Zurich and a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Zurich.

Prof. Mitchell Levesque

Patient (Anonymous, audio file in German)

«for me it was clear that i would participate in the study».

The patient is a recipient of a stool transplant.

Would you like a second opinion? Our joint center of excellence, the Comprehensive Cancer Center Zürich offers cancer patients a specialist expert opinion to help them to make an informed decision.

Dermatology online: University Hospital Zurich’s online skin check tool (in German)

Microbiome: Clinic at University Hospital Zurich

Anne Müller and Mitchell Levesque

Microbiome: The microbiome refers to all of the microorganisms that live in the gut.

Checkpoint inhibitors: Checkpoint inhibitors are a type of immunotherapy. These are designed to release the brakes on the body’s immune system. This strengthens its existing but inactive immune response and fights the cancer.

Fecal microbiota transplant: Transplanting the gut bacteria of one person into the intestines of another person using colonoscopy.

T-cells: T-cells are a kind of white blood cell, and are an important part of the body’s immune defenses. They recognize cells that are infected with a virus and kill them.

Gastroenterology: Gastroenterology/hepatology covers the diagnosis and treatment of stomach, intestinal, pancreatic and liver diseases.

Translational research: The results of translational research are «translated», i.e. made suitable, for use in everyday clinical practice.

Melanoma: Melanoma is a kind of malignant tumor that results from the degeneration of melanin-generating cells in the skin. It is not the most common type of skin cancer, but is the most malignant. Melanoma can metastasize and is responsible for more than 90 percent of all deaths from skin cancer.

Who is co-financing this project? (in CHF millions)

CCCZ The project funding lasts from 2022 to 2025

Text and audio: Rebekka Haefeli , Marita Fuchs Pictures: Frank Brüderli University of Zurich: Anne Müller , Michael Scharl , Mitchell Levesque University Hospital Zurich: Michael Scharl , Mitchell Levesque , Christian Britschgi

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Center for Microscopy and Image Analysis

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The main labs of the Center for Microscopy and Image Analysis are located at the campus Irchel. At the Institute of Medical Microbiology the Center for Microscopy operates an external location to support research with microscopy.

An advanced confocal laserscanning microscope will be available at the Institute of Medical Microbiology, Gloriastrasse 30/32, CH-8006 Zürich starting in October 2017

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Center for Microscopy and Image Analysis Winterthurerstrasse 190 CH-8057 Zürich

Address @ Institute of Medical Microbiology

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Experience the Launch of NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test Mission  

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NASA Astronomer Sees Power in Community, Works to Build More

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Annual Highlights of Results 2023: Introduction and Analyses

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Teams Add Iconic NASA ‘Worm’ Logo to Artemis II Rocket, Spacecraft

Arctic Ocean

Meet NASA’s Twin Spacecraft Headed to the Ends of the Earth

What’s made in a thunderstorm and faster than lightning gamma rays.

OpenET Study Helps Water Managers and Farmers Put NASA Data to Work

OpenET Study Helps Water Managers and Farmers Put NASA Data to Work

Ride the Wave of Radio Astronomy During the Solar Eclipse  

Ride the Wave of Radio Astronomy During the Solar Eclipse  

Eclipse 2024 Science

Eclipse 2024 Science

Discovery Alert: Glowing Cloud Points to a Cosmic Collision

Discovery Alert: Glowing Cloud Points to a Cosmic Collision

Hubble Views a Massive Star Forming

Hubble Views a Massive Star Forming

New point of contact for C.16 Laboratory Analysis of Returned Samples

New point of contact for C.16 Laboratory Analysis of Returned Samples

New point of contact for C.17 Planetary Science Enabling Facilities

New point of contact for C.17 Planetary Science Enabling Facilities

The planning start date for F.9 Citizen Science Seed Funding Program has changed.

The planning start date for F.9 Citizen Science Seed Funding Program has changed.

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NASA Selects University Teams to Explore Innovative Aeronautical Research

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NASA Collaborates in an International Air Quality Study

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Special Report: Aeronautics Honors Ingenuity

Radioisotope Power Systems Resources

Radioisotope Power Systems Resources

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Seeing is Communicating

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How NASA Uses Simple Technology to Track Lunar Missions

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Career Journey: Building Strength as an Astronaut Fitness Trainer

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University High School Wins Regional Science Bowl at NASA’s JPL

An external image of the Alabama A&M University Agribition Center from the front facade. The Center is a cream-colored stone building with a curved roof, floor-to-ceiling windows, and concrete steps that lead to a covered awning, framed by deep-red structural beams above. Shrubs and crepe myrtle trees frame the foreground and steps leading up to the building. Photo courtesy of AAMU Extension

NASA Taps Alabama A&M University to Host Break the Ice Lunar Challenge

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Renee King: Ensuring Space for Everyone

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55 Years Ago: Five Months Until the Moon Landing

NASA astronaut Frank Rubio uses a tool in his right hand as he activates a space biology experiment that is studying how weightlessness affects genetic expression in microbes.

Ciencia destacada del año en el espacio del astronauta Frank Rubio

Frank Rubio, un hombre de pelo y ojos oscuros y con lentes, sonríe y tiene los brazos cruzados. Va vestido con un polo oscuro y pantalones khaki. Detrás suyo se ve la atmósfera de la Tierra a través de las ventanas de observación de la cúpula.

Misión récord de astronauta ayuda a planificar viajes al espacio profundo

monnikin

Pruebas de la NASA con maniquí de Artemis I aportan información para futuras misiones tripuladas

Aerospace medicine clerkship.

The headshot image of Robert E. Lewis

Robert E. Lewis

Web community manager, work tour description, eligibility requirements, application and selection process, logistics of the clerkship, during the clerkship, point of contact, additional resources for aerospace medicine, clerkship faq's.

Aerospace clerkship montage of images

The application window for the  October 2024 session is open . The next available session will convene October 7-November 1, 2024. Applications for the October 2024 session will close on June 1, 2024 at 1159 CST.

If you have read the FAQ and still have questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me via email at [email protected] , as hybrid work schedules are in place at JSC, and office phones may be manned sporadically until further notice.​

When submitting your application, electronic submissions are strongly preferred. Please refer to the instructions in the application document and ensure that you are using a secure encrypted platform that may require a password or code to access upon receipt. (O365 is the preferred encryption platform, and if your institution has a similar platform, this may be used as well). Not encrypted applications will not be accepted and must be deleted immediately to adhere to NASA JSC policies to protect and handle your PII accordingly. Also, please confirm application receipt and do not assume your application has been received unless confirmed via email by Amy Honors.

The four-week Aerospace Medicine Clerkship is offered twice annually during April and October at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (located in Houston, TX) and typically begins the first Monday and concludes on the last Friday of the month. The clerkship involves formal lectures on space medicine topics and issues, familiarization with the medical aspects of International Space Station operations, design, and function as well as Exploration Medical Capability for deep space exploration. Clerkship participants are required to complete a research project and scientific poster with an accompanying 250 word abstract in a current focus area of space medicine, which will be presented in an open forum poster session for not only the JSC Space Medicine Operations and clinical community, but other interested divisions/elements at JSC.

  • Interested persons must be a US Citizen (or hold dual citizenship to include the US)
  • The MINIMUM educational requirement is to be in your final year of medical school. (residents and attending physicians are eligible to apply)
  • Must have an interest in Aerospace Medicine and plan to apply in future career goals

All applicants must include the following:

  • Application
  • Statement of Interest
  • Curriculum vitae (CV)
  • A letter of good standing and recommendation from the school or institution and an official transcript (or diploma if applicable) from the medical school is required. 

Applications are due June 1st for the October clerkship and December 1st for the April clerkship.

Upon completion of the application period, a maximum of 20 students will be selected for each of the clerkships by a committee of NASA flight surgeons and other Space Medicine Training and or Clinical Operations team members. 

Selection is based upon demonstrated interest and career goals involving Aerospace Medicine, academic standing, the content of a Dean’s recommendation (or direct supervisor if graduated) *, research, and work experience.

*  Letter can be from the medical school Dean or Departmental Dean. Supervisor letter would apply to those beyond the 4th year and can provide their diploma.

Application File Download

Aerospace medicine clerkship application.

Sep 14, 2023

PDF (127.36 KB)

Aerospace Medicine Clerkship group picture at MCC

You must send your application package via a secure email platform (ex. Gmail Confidential). Many institutions have a secure email platform in which I will create an account/password to access your attachments. Please do not submit your application via regular email as I cannot open them and they will be deleted.

***The email platform MUST be secure/encrypted to comply with NASA/JSC policies to protect your Private Identifiable Information (PII) and in order for your application to be accepted.***

If you find it necessary to Mail your application, please use USPS or a courier to send your application to:

Amy N. Honors NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Mail Code SD222 2101 NASA Parkway Houston, Texas 77058 

All costs incurred during the clerkship are your responsibility. NASA JSC or KBR provides no monies for the clerkship.

If selected, to assist with lodging, you will be supplied with access to our local JSC Housing Co-Op as well as recommendations for local hotels, extended stays, and areas to target for AirBnB and VRBO, etc.

You will be supplied with a computer to be used for research purposes only, and access to several collaborative work areas on-site at JSC.

Participants are responsible for their transportation during the clerkship. Participants are also encouraged to carpool with other clerks.

Aerospace Medicine Clerkship participant view Mission Control Center at NASA JSC.

During the clerkship, you will be exposed to a variety of space medicine topics given in presentations, lectures, and tours, such as the medical equipment available to crew members in space, space physiology, radiation monitoring, tours of the training facilities, etc. The daily activities will include both presentations and tours, as well as time for you to work on your project. The schedules are always subject to change. You will be present/available M-F 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. (40 hrs/week) and no required activities scheduled on the weekends.

This clerkship is considered an educational/research clerkship and is non-clinical. Therefore, contact/interaction with patients during the clerkship should not be expected.

Amy Honors       281-483-7050

Below are additional resources for Aerospace Medicine knowledge and networking, some of which may also provide opportunities for non-U.S. citizens.** 

  • Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA) 
  • Aerospace Medicine Student and Resident Organization (AMSRO)
  • University of Texas Medical Branch Principles of Aviation and Space Medicine Short course . Information: 4-week course, also 4th/final year of medical school eligibility. DOES accept foreign national applications. It has many aspects that are not in the clerkship, such as commercial spaceflight and general aviation medicine.   
  • NASA Internships  – wide range of opportunities.

Aerospace Medicine Clerkship FAQ’s (PDF, 190KB)

Related Terms

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Solar System

Microsoft Research Blog

Research focus: week of february 19, 2024.

Published February 21, 2024

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Welcome to Research Focus, a series of blog posts that highlights notable publications, events, code/datasets, new hires and other milestones from across the research community at Microsoft.

Research Focus Week of February 19, 2024

NEW RESEARCH

Vertically autoscaling monolithic applications with caasper: scalable container-as-a-service performance enhanced resizing algorithm for the cloud.

Kubernetes is a prominent open-source platform for managing cloud applications, including stateful databases, which keep track of changes and transactions involving the underlying data. These monolithic applications often must rely on vertical resource scaling instead of horizontal scale-out, adjusting CPU cores to match load fluctuations. However, an analysis of database-as-a-service (DBaaS) offerings at Microsoft revealed that many customers consistently over-provision resources for peak workloads, neglecting opportunities to optimize their cloud resource consumption by scaling down. Existing vertical autoscaling tools lack the ability to minimize resource slack and respond promptly to throttling, leading to increased costs and impacting crucial metrics, such as throughput and availability.

In a recent paper: Vertically Autoscaling Monolithic Applications with CaaSPER: Scalable Container-as-a-Service Performance Enhanced Resizing Algorithm for the Cloud , researchers from Microsoft propose CaaSPER, a vertical autoscaling algorithm that blends reactive and proactive strategies to address this challenge. By dynamically adjusting CPU resources, CaaSPER minimizes resource slack, maintains optimal CPU utilization, and reduces throttling. Importantly, customers have the flexibility to prioritize either cost savings or high performance. Extensive testing demonstrates that CaaSPER effectively reduces throttling and keeps CPU utilization within target levels. CaaSPER is designed to be application-agnostic and platform-agnostic, with potential for extension to other applications and resources requiring vertical autoscaling.

MICROSOFT RESEARCH PODCAST

MSR Podcast | AI Frontiers | Ahmed Awadallah

AI Frontiers: The future of scale with Ahmed Awadallah and Ashley Llorens

This episode features Senior Principal Research Manager  Ahmed H. Awadallah , whose work improving the efficiency of large-scale AI models and efforts to help move advancements in the space from research to practice   have put him at the forefront of this new era of AI.

Improved Scene Landmark Detection for Camera Localization

Camera localization is a fundamental component commonly used in computer vision, robotics, augmented reality, and virtual reality applications for estimating the precise 3D position and orientation of a camera-enabled device within a scene. Localization techniques that use image-based retrieval, visual feature matching, and 3D structure-based pose estimation, are generally accurate, but they require high storage, are often slow, and are not privacy-preserving. Researchers from Microsoft and external colleagues recently proposed an alternate learning-based localization method based on scene landmark detection (SLD) to address these limitations. It involves training a convolutional neural network to detect a few predetermined, salient, scene-specific 3D points or landmarks and computing camera pose from the associated 2D–3D correspondences. Although SLD outperformed existing learning-based approaches, it was notably less accurate than 3D structure-based methods.

In a recent paper: Improved Scene Landmark Detection for Camera Localization , researchers from Microsoft show that the accuracy gap was due to insufficient model capacity and noisy labels during training. To mitigate the capacity issue, they propose splitting the landmarks into subgroups and training a separate network for each subgroup. To generate better training labels, they propose using dense reconstructions to estimate accurate visibility of scene landmarks. Finally, they present a compact neural network architecture to improve memory efficiency. This approach is as accurate as state-of-the-art structure-based methods on the INDOOR-6 dataset, but it runs significantly faster and uses less storage.

ESUS: Aligning and Simplifying SUS for Enterprise Applications

Over many years, researchers have developed standard questionnaires to evaluate usability and present a single score that represents a product’s overall level of ease of use. These evaluations are highly valuable for researchers studying human-computer interaction (HCI) and user experience (UX). One of the most notable questionnaires is the System Usability Scale (SUS). However, since the SUS was introduced in 1986, products and services have undergone monumental advances in technology, while HCI and UX research practices have matured considerably. These changes are also true in enterprise environments.

In a recent article: ESUS: Aligning and Simplifying SUS for Enterprise Applications , researchers from Microsoft present preliminary evidence showing the effectiveness of a new usability questionnaire with three advantages for enterprise applications over the original 10-item SUS questionnaire. The Enterprise System Usability Scale (ESUS) offers better measurement of usability for technical products and services; reduced questionnaire items; and alignment with enterprise environments. Results indicate that the ESUS strongly correlates with user satisfaction, similar to the SUS.

Related publications

Learning to detect scene landmarks for camera localization, agent ai towards a holistic intelligence, continue reading.

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Understanding the user: How the Enterprise System Usability Scale aligns with user reality

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  2. About

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  21. Aerospace Medicine Clerkship

    The four-week Aerospace Medicine Clerkship is offered twice annually during April and October at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (located in Houston, TX) and typically begins the first Monday and concludes on the last Friday of the month. The clerkship involves formal lectures on space medicine topics and issues, familiarization with the ...

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  24. Research Focus: Week of February 19, 2024

    Welcome to Research Focus, a series of blog posts that highlights notable publications, events, code/datasets, new hires and other milestones from across the research community at Microsoft. NEW RESEARCH Vertically Autoscaling Monolithic Applications with CaaSPER: Scalable Container-as-a-Service Performance Enhanced Resizing Algorithm for the Cloud