Michael N. Hall, Professor of Biochemistry at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, was awarded the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, 2014, yesterday in the U.S.A. This award honors Hall for his discovery of target of rapamycin (TOR), a central regulator of cell growth and metabolism. This is the first time that this prize, endowed with three million dollars, has been granted to a scientist in Switzerland. The Breakthrough Prize is sponsored, among others, by internet entrepreneurs including Mark Zuckerberg, of Facebook, and Sergey Brin, of Google.
Three scientists at the University of Basel are being supported by the European Research Council (ERC) with grants of roughly 10 million Swiss Francs: The two biologists Prof. Christoph Handschin and Prof. Thomas Mrsic-Flogel from the Biozentrum, the zoologist Prof. Walter Salzburger, as well as Prof. Jennifer Keiser from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute each receive an ERC Consolidator Grant of 2.5 million Swiss Francs.
On Friday (29th November 2013) the University of Basel has commemorated its Dies Academicus with the traditional ceremony - for the 553th time. During this anniversary six faculties awarded eight Honorary Doctorates. Recipients were attorney Walter Kälin, gallery owner Daniel Blaise Thorens, editor Bear Rudolf Jenny, musicologist Jordi Savall, the scientists Heinz H. Büscher and George Willcox, economist Andrew Oswald and psychologist Susan T. Fiske. The Faculty of Theology honored publisher Marianne Stauffacher who recently passed away and for whom the Faculty had intended an Honorary Doctorate.
With the help of tiny diamond crystals, physicists at the University of Basel have discovered new possibilities of quantum information: The scientists discovered at specific circumstances electric currents that made it possible to identify defects in the carbon lattice of single diamonds measuring only a few nanometers.
Registered nurses in hospitals often lack the time for nursing care activities, such as comfort or talk with patients or educating patients and relatives. A study by the Institute of Nursing Sciences at the University of Basel shows that all European countries are affected, but variability in these and other important aspects of nursing care between and within countries was found.
Currently no treatment option is available for five percent of patients suffering from chronic myelogenous leukemia, since they have developed resistance to conventional medications. Prof. Stephan Grzesiek’s group at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, in collaboration with Dr. Wolfgang Jahnke and colleagues from Novartis, has investigated the combined action of two different compounds against this form of leukemia. They have been able to explain at the atomic level, how both substances alter the structure of an enzyme and how their combination potentially can overcome drug resistance.
Physicists at the University of Basel have been successful in generating photons – the quantum particles of light – with only one color. This is useful for quantum information. The scientists have actively stabilized the wavelength of the photons emitted by a semiconductor thereby neutralizing the charge noise in the semiconductor.
The Eckenstein-Geigy Professorship in Pediatric Pharmacology at the University of Basel and the University Children’s Hospital Basel (UKBB) is no longer vacant: The University Council appointed Prof. Johannes van den Anker for the beginning of 2014.