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On Thursday, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) held the groundbreaking ceremony for its new building on the Schällemätteli campus in Basel. It plans to invest 200 million Swiss francs in the new home of the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering. One focus of this department’s work is advancing data science-based medicine.
The Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering at the ETH is already based in Basel. Researchers here are searching for correlations between genetic characteristics and the occurrence of complex diseases. They also test pharmaceutical agents in cell tissues on electronic chips. Their goal is to advance synthetic biology and personalised and data science-based medicine through interdisciplinary cooperation.
The Basel department is now getting a new home. From 2022, its researchers will all be accommodated in the new building on the Schällemätteli campus. This will be in the immediate vicinity of the University, the University Hospital Basel and the University Children’s Hospital Basel. The researchers hope that this geographical proximity will allow them to benefit from an even greater exchange of expertise.
The new ETH department will also cooperate more closely with the University of Basel at infrastructure level. University members will be able to use the scientific facilities housed in the new ETH building, such as clean rooms for manufacturing microelectronic and body-on-a-chip equipment, for example. In turn, ETH researchers will benefit from sharing the University of Basel’s laboratory animal units. The Genomics Facility Basel is already co-managed by the two institutions and will continue as a joint venture at the new site.
ETH reports that it is investing around 200 million francs in the new building overall. “Medicine and life science are among ETH Zurich’s strategic priorities,” said ETH President Lino Guzzella in the press release. “Our department in Basel gives us access to a research network that is amongst the most important networks in this area worldwide.”