All Day 2007

First All Day
Date: September 17, 2007
Location: EPF Lausanne, Switzerland
Guest Speaker: Colin Miles BBSRC, United Kingdom
Number of visitors: 250
Poster Award Winner: Mirko Birbaumer (ETHZ)

Switzerland goes Systems Biology. 250 scientists from various disciplines from Swiss universities as well as several industry researchers gathered at EPF Lausanne for the first All Day on September 17. In the morning, the running SystemsX projects were showcased in a succession of short presentations by their principal investigators. Over lunch, students presented their interdisciplinary PhD fellowship projects (IPFPs), and the late afternoon brought a bouquet of ideas for new projects from new partners of as well some from the former SystemsX pilots.

The resonance on the day during the coffee breaks in the afternoon was, on the whole, very positive. The only concern formulated several times was that the «established» SystemsX people might have an advantage in the current round of applications, due to their previous years of experience in Systems Biology and their running projects. In the audience an industry representative from Merck-Serono was spotted who described as a «fantastic» initiative.

Evidently many people were eager to learn about this Swiss initiative which received CHF 100 million from the federal government for funding projects over the next four years (2008-2011). Most importantly, individuals from the universities in Berne, Lausanne and Geneva were mobilized and eager to create new contacts. This investment will lead to matching funds by the partner institutions amounting to at least another CHF 100 million. In addition, the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering of ETH Zurich in Basel will receive CHF 100 million for the next four years, 2008-2011.

Under the new initiative the terms «Scientific Node» and «Glue Projects» will no longer be used. They will now all fall under a single project type collectively termed «Research, Technology and Development Projects» (RTD-Projects). They «are expected to have the size of a small National Competence Center of Research (NCCR), but may also be smaller», explained Daniel Vonder Mühll, managing director of A typical RTD shall have an overall yearly budget of up to CHF 6 million. Half of this amount would come via the matching funds from the research institutions taking part. For the present call, some CHF 45 million have been allocated for funding RTD projects. About 10 RTD projects are expected to start in spring 2008.

Fifteen new RTD project ideas were presented at the first at EPF Lausanne on September 17, 2007.

Poster Award 2007 - Winner

Mirko Birbaumer from the Institute of Molecular Systems Biology of ETH Zurich won the Poster Award 2007 with the title "Collective Dynamics of Endocytic Vesicles in Membrane Trafficking". Mirko was born in Basel, Switzerland, on June 5th 1979. He studied Physics at the ETH Zürich and obtained his Masters' degree in Theoretical Physics in 2005. Mirko joined the Pelkmans lab in November 2005 where he develops and applies mathematical models and computational tools to study systems behaviour of membrane trafficking.


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