Former Member of National Council, former Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Committee for Science, Education and Culture
Kathy Riklin obtained a PhD in petrography, geology and geography from the ETH Zurich in 1982. From 1983 to 2008, she was a secondary school teacher and Vice Rector of high school KME in Zurich. From 2008 to 2015, she was board member of the University of Zurich. From 1993 to 2005, she was president of the Federal Commission for the Protection of Nature and Cultural Heritage ENHK. From 1999 until 2019, she was an elected member of the Swiss National Council for the Swiss Christian Democratic People’s Party. She used to be a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Committee for Science, Education and Culture, which she chaired in 2006/2007. She was a member of the Delegation for Relations with the German Bundestag (President 2011-2015) and the EFTA / European Parliament delegation (President 2014-2015), cofounder of the Parliamentary Group on Digital Sustainability and on the board of Swiss ICT. Since 2001, she has been president of the Swiss advisory body on climate change OcCC. Since 2009, she acts as President of the Swiss Centre for Applied Human Toxicology (SCAHT). Kathy Riklin is committed to education and research, especially to strengthen science. Other political priorities are foreign policy (especially Europe), the planning of the subsurface and the use of geothermal energy, global warming, conservation of nature and environmental and cultural policy.
Rector University of Bern
Christian Leumann assumed the office of Rector of the University of Bern in August 2016. He has been a member of the Executive Board of the University of Bern since 2011 as Vice Rector for Research. Christian Leumann graduated in chemistry at the ETH Zurich. After a post doc at the University of California in Berkeley and five years of research at the ETH Zurich, Christian Leumann became Professor of Bioorganic Chemistry at the University of Bern in 1993. His research focuses on the development of chemically modified nucleic acid analogues and their utilization in the treatment of genetic diseases. Christian Leumann has completed a number of sabbaticals, including at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla and at Stanford University in Palo Alto. In addition to his teaching and research activities, Christian Leumann has also held a number of other positions including a post on the research council and as President of the Division for Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Engineering at the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF).
Co-chair of Interpharma Animal Welfare working group
Novartis Global Animal Welfare and Compliance 3Rs Leader
Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research
Birgit Ledermann has been working in biomedical research in academia and industry for 25 years. She completed an education as technical assistant in chemistry, received her degree in biology/molecular genetics from the University of Bielefeld and her PhD degree in cell biology from the University of Basel. She is qualified to give postdoctoral lectures in Laboratory Animal Science at the universities of Zurich and Basel and currently is a lecturer at the University of Basel. She previously worked at Sandoz/Novartis Pharma as lab head in the area of transgenic animals and at the University of Zurich's Institute for Laboratory Animal Science in the field of nuclear transfer (cloning). Since 2007, she served in various animal welfare positions for Novartis Pharma AG. In her current role, she is responsible for Novartis' global 3Rs programme and the implementation of 3Rs best practices.
She is President of Swiss Laboratory Animal Science Association (SGV), Chair of Swiss Animal Welfare Officer network and acts as SGV representative for FELASA (Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations) Board. She also represents Novartis at EPAA (European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing) and is the Interpharma member of AAALAC (American Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care)'s Nomination Board.
Chief Executive Officer Interpharma
René P. Buholzer is CEO of Interpharma. He holds a PhD from the University of St. Gallen, where he was a lecturer on democracy and foreign affairs until 2017. Prior to joining Interpharma, he has been for more than 10 years Global Head of Public Policy and Sustainability at Credit Suisse, where he led a global team in Zurich, London, Hong Kong and New York. Before joining Credit Suisse, René Buholzer was an executive in charge of environmental, ICT and regional policy at Swiss Business Federation economiesuisse. He also used to work as a management consultant in Prague and as a teaching assistant at the University of St. Gallen. He has published in the fields of public policy, economic policy and Swiss- EU relations. Within the University of St. Gallen René Buholzer currently also serves as President of the Board of Governors at the Swiss Institutes for International Economics and Applied Economic Research and as Supervisory Board member at the Institute of Economics. He is a board member of the Club politique de Berne, Advisory Board member of shiru advisors, board member of the Dr. Heinrich Wachter Stiftung, Councillor at the British Swiss Chamber of Commerce and board member of the Alumni Council of the Swiss American Foundation.
Laboratory of Virology and Genetics
After obtaining an MD from the University of Geneva and completing clinical training in pathology, internal medicine and infectious diseases in Geneva and at Massachusetts General Hospital, Didier Trono started a scientific career at the Whitehead Institute of MIT. In 1990, he joined the Salk Institute in San Diego to launch a centre for AIDS research.
Didier Trono moved back to Europe seven years later, before taking the reins of the newly created EPFL School of Life Sciences, which he directed from 2004 to 2012.
His research has long gravitated around interactions between viruses and their hosts and the development of tools for gene therapy. This led him to epigenetics, the current focus of his lab’s investigations.
Vice President for Research and Corporate Relations of ETH Zurich
Detlef Günther was appointed as Assistant Professor at the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of ETH Zurich in 1998 and became associate professor in July 2003. Since February 2008 he is a full Professor for Trace Element and Micro Analysis and since January 2015 Vice President for Research and Corporate Relations of ETH Zurich.
Detlef Günther studied chemistry at Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg in Germany (1982-1987) and completed his PhD in Analytical Chemistry in 1990. He joined the Institute of Plant Biochemistry working on analytical methods to characterize heavy metal-binding proteins using HPLC-ICP-MS. In 1994, he started as a post-doc at the Memorial University of Newfoundland in the group of H. Longerich. From 1995 until 1998, he worked in the group of C.A. Heinrich at the Institute of Isotope Geology and Mineral Resources at ETH Zurich.
Director School of Life Sciences
Chair of the Standing Committee Research
Chair Strategic Initiatives at FHNW
Falko Schlottig studied chemistry at Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg and completed his PhD in physical chemistry in 1996 at the TU Chemnitz. In 1996, he started as a postdoc at ETH in the group of Prof. Textor and at Alusuisse. Since then gained many years of experience in management positions in international life sciences companies. In addition to various positions as head of research and development departments in the industrial field, he completed an EMBA at the University of St. Gallen. He also advises young life sciences companies and acts as a start-up founder. He has been director of Life Sciences for the FHNW since 2015.
Head of the Animal Welfare Division
Kaspar Jörger studied veterinary medicine at the universities of Neuchâtel and Zürich, and obtained his doctorate at the University of Bern in 1987. Following assistantships in various large animal practices and at the Institute of Veterinary Pathology in Zürich, he became a partner in a private veterinary practice.
In 1990, he moved to the veterinary public health service, initially as an official veterinarian for the city of Chur working in meat and food inspection. He joined the Veterinary Office of the Canton of Graubünden in 1995 and became cantonal veterinarian in 1999. From 2005 to 2007, he was Head of the Graubünden Office for food safety and veterinary service.
In 2007, he assumed responsibility for Cantonal coordination at the Swiss Federal Veterinary Office (FVO). From 2010 to 2013, he was responsible for the Monitoring division and was a member of the FVO Executive board. Since 2014, he has been Head of the Animal Welfare Division of the Swiss Federal Office for Food Safety and Veterinary Affairs (FSVO) and a member of the Executive Board. In this role, his responsibilities include supervision of animal experimentation licensing and acting as an adviser to cantonal animal welfare offices and animal experimentation commissions. From 2014 until 2018, he was a member of the Administrative board of the 3R Research Foundation Switzerland.
Head of Animals in Research
Genetic Engineering & Veterinary Consulting Unit
Following her degree in veterinary medicine from the Ludwig- Maximilian-University Munich, Germany, in 1994 she worked as an assistant veterinarian in different animal veterinary practices and clinics, Switzerland and opened her own small animal veterinary practice in 1996. She received her PhD in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Zurich in 2000.
Julika Fitzi-Rathgen used to work as consultant and investigator in clinical and preclinical research between 2000 and 2004. In 2014, she graduated with a master's degree in law from the University of Bern and in 2016; she completed studies in mediation and conflict resolution at the University of Fribourg.
Since 2008, she has acted as head of the unit Animals in Research & Genetic Technology as well as for the special animal welfare field of Dogs & Veterinary Consulting at Swiss Animal Protection SAP.
Rector’s delegate for research analysis
Prof. Benedetto Lepori holds a PhD in Communication Sciences with a thesis on the Swiss research and higher education policy from the University of Lugano in 2004. At the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI), he is currently Titular Professor at the Faculty of Communication Science, Institute of Interdisciplinary Data Sciences. He is a senior researcher at the University of Paris- Est and invited researcher at the Department of Management of the University of Bath. He is a recognized expert in research policy and higher education studies.
Since 1996, Prof. Lepori is head of the Research Service of USI and of the Scuola Professionale della Svizzera italiana, in charge of the overall support and coordination of research support. Since 2017, he is also member of the rectorate of the Università della Svizzera italiana.
Department of Biomedicine
Prof. Rolf Zeller is Full Professor in Anatomy and Embryology in the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel. The main research topics of his group include genetic and systematic analysis of the signal-antagonist interactions and auto-regulatory feedback loops that control vertebrate organogenesis. He uses mouse molecular genetics in combination with cell biochemistry and databased simulations of complex regulatory system to study fundamental questions of embryonic development.
Rolf Zeller is also President of the Basel Declaration Society, which promotes ethically responsible research with animals and openness in communication and publication; member of the National Research Council of Switzerland (Division III: Biology and Medicine); elected Member of EMBO; and Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (UK).
Dean, Fribourg Centre for Cognition
Gregor Rainer holds professor positions at the University of Fribourg and at EPFL. He is the recipient of the prestigious DFG Heisenberg award and was a group leader at the Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen. He received his Master's Degree in Experimental Physics from the University of Vienna in 1994, a PhD in systems neuroscience from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999 and a habilitation in behavioural neurobiology from Eberhard-Karls-University Tübingen in 2003.
His research interests centre on the study of cognitive functions in the tree shrew and primate visual system, with particular focus on short-term memory, attention and visual learning and the impact of neuromodulation on these processes.
Associate Professor at the Department of Pathology and Immunology
Vice-Rector for Equality, Diversity and Career
Liliane Michalik joined the University of Lausanne in 1994, after obtaining her PhD in Life Sciences from the University of Strasbourg, France. Since then, she has been active in biomedical research, with the overall goal of understanding skin responses to injuries and to UV-ray exposure. Liliane Michalik is also committed to education and public outreach. Between 2011 and 2021, she was vice-Director and then Director of the School of Biology of the Faculty of biology and Medicine of the University of Lausanne. In August 2021, she joined the Rectorate of the University of Lausanne as Vice-Rector for "Equality, Diversity and Careers ».
Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medicine
Prof. Hanns Ulrich Zeilhofer is a Medical Doctor by training and Full Professor of Pharmacology at the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Zurich. He holds a joint appointment as Professor of Pharmacology at ETH Zürich. His research focuses on spinal pain processing and on central mechanisms of chronic pain and itch conditions. His group uses mouse genetic engineering together with methods of cellular electrophysiology, advanced imaging, and optogenetics, in combination with behavioral analyses to discover basic mechanisms of pathological pain processing in the CNS. Prof. Zeilhofer has been a member of the National Research Council of Switzerland (Division III: Biology and Medicine) between 2011 and 2019. Since August 2021, he serves as Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Zurich.
Dean, Head of Department Life Sciences and Facility Management
Urs Hilber conducted studies of biology (botany, zoology and chemistry) at Uni. Basel, ETHZ und UK. He obtained a PhD at Uni. Basel in collaboration with Agroscope, Ciba-Geigy, and conducted a post doc at Cornell University NY, in the United States. At the Swiss Society for the Chemical Industry (SGCI, today scienceindustries) he supervised the agricultural section and its subgroups and also acted as Vice Director and Director of Agroscope. Since 2007, he is on the management board of ZHAW where he has been Head of R&D from 2011 to 2017. He is currently the Dean of the School Life Sciences and Facility Management.