+ -

Seven new professors at the University of Basel

Five faculties at the University of Basel are welcoming new professors to their ranks.

02 July 2024

Portrait of Miriam Rose
Prof. Dr. Miriam Rose. (Photo: Anne Günther, University of Jena)

The University Council has appointed Professor Miriam Rose as professor of systematic theology/dogmatics in the Faculty of Theology. She will take up the position on 1 August 2024.

Miriam Rose has been professor of systematic theology at Friedrich Schiller University Jena since 2011. She studied Protestant theology in Munich, Heidelberg, Jerusalem and Berlin. In 2005 she obtained her doctorate at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich and completed her habilitation there in 2009 with a thesis on Friedrich Schleiermacher’s theory of the state (Age of Romanticism). Under a Senior Fellowship, she conducted research into individuality at the Alfried Krupp Institute for Advanced Study in Greifswald from 2022 to 2023.

Within a thematically broad research profile in the area of dogmatics and the history of theology, Professor Rose focuses on ecumenical questions. She has worked on numerous interdisciplinary projects covering contemporary issues. She is particularly interested in anthropological creativity, the relationship between religion and art, and process theology. One particular focal area is the European dimension of religion, church and culture. In her teaching, she developed the concept of “writing-based teaching” for her subject. She is also active in numerous academic and ecclesiastical committees.

Anatomy and cell biology

Portrait of Valérie Hilgers
Prof. Dr. Valérie Hilgers

Professor Valérie Hilgers will be the new professor of anatomy and cell biology at the Faculty of Medicine. She will take up her position at the Department of Biomedicine on 1 August 2025.

Professor Hilgers studied biology at Saarland University and holds a master’s degree in cellular and molecular biology from the Ecole Normale Supérieure and the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris. She obtained her doctorate in 2010 at Heidelberg University and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg. After a research stay at the University of California, Berkeley, she returned to Germany and has headed a research group at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg im Breisgau since 2016.

Hilgers’s research focuses on alternative RNA processing in the nervous system. She investigates the mechanisms by which RNA-binding proteins regulate neuronal RNA signatures, which is crucial for the function and preservation of neurons. Her research has contributed greatly to our understanding of the molecular basis of neuronal function and related diseases and she has been the recipient of numerous awards, including an ERC Starting Grant in 2018.


Portrait of Andreas Keller
Prof. Dr. Andreas J. Keller

Professor Andreas J. Keller will become the new professor of physiology at the Faculty of Medicine. He will take up his position at the Department of Biomedicine on 1 August 2024.

Professor Keller studied physics at ETH Zurich, where he obtained his doctorate at the Institute of Neuroinformatics in 2015. He then worked at the Brain Research Institute at the University of Zurich before moving to the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research in Basel in 2016. From 2016 to 2020, he was a postdoc at the University of California, San Francisco. As the recipient of an SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship, he has been a research group leader at the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel (IOB) and assistant professor at the University of Basel since 2021.

His research field is the reorganization of cortical circuits through experience and learning in both healthy and impaired nervous systems. One focal point of this research is the decoding of circuits in the primary visual cortex that are responsible for the context-dependent modulation of sensory information, using physiological recording techniques and optogenetics. Keller is also investigating the mechanisms by which neuronal circuits are formed during sleep to promote long-term memory integration.

Digital Humanities and AI

Portrait of Rosa Lavelle-Hill
Prof. Dr. Rosa Lavelle-Hill. (Photo: University of Basel)

Professor Rosa Lavelle-Hill will become the new digital humanities and AI professor at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. She will take up her position at the Digital Humanities Lab and the Department of Social Sciences on 1 February 2025.

Rosa Lavelle-Hill earned her PhD in Big Data Psychology from the University of Nottingham in 2020. Currently a tenure-track assistant professor at the University of Copenhagen's Department of Psychology and the Copenhagen Center for Social Data Science (SODAS), Lavelle-Hill's previous positions include postdoctoral research at the Hector Research Institute of Education Sciences and Psychology at the University of Tübingen and the Alan Turing Institute in London, where she focused on using AI to prevent modern slavery and other exploitative crimes. In spring 2024, she was one of the Junior Fellows of the Forum Basiliense at the University of Basel.

Her research lies at the intersection of social sciences, data science, and AI, particularly on developing ethical AI and using predictive modeling to understand human behavior and societal issues. Her work integrates psychological and social theories of human behavior with various data science and machine learning techniques, contributing significantly to the fields of environmental psychology, educational psychology, sustainable development, human rights, and modern slavery prevention.

Infection and Immunity

Portrait of Yuping Li
Prof. Dr. Yuping Li

Yuping Li is to become the new assistant professor (with tenure track) for infection and immunity in the Faculty of Science. She will assume the position at the University of Basel’s Biozentrum and the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) AntiResist on 1 October 2024.

Li received her Bachelor of Engineering in Bioinformatics from Huazhong University of Science & Technology in Wuhan, China. In 2013, she started her PhD studies at Stanford University where she completed her dissertation on quantitative understanding of adaptation and trade-offs in microbial evolution. Since 2019, Li has been a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, studying how bacteria fight against their underappreciated large viruses, called jumbophages. Additionally, she spent time as a visiting scientist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg from October 2022 to June 2023.

Li's research spans the fields of computational and experimental biology. Her group will focus on the genetic and evolutionary study of bacteria-jumbophage interactions, with a particular emphasis on bacterial defense systems against jumbophages. This research will complement and enhance the work of both the NCCR AntiResist and the Biozentrum.

Theoretical Biophysics

Portrait of David Brückner
Prof. Dr. David Brückner. (Photo: ISTA)

David Brückner is the new tenure-track assistant professor of theoretical biophysics in the Faculty of Science. He will take up his position at the Biozentrum on 1 April 2025.

David Brückner studied physics and natural sciences at the University of Cambridge and obtained his doctorate in physics from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in 2021. He is currently an EMBO and NOMIS postdoc at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA), where he has been working since August 2021. Research stays have taken him to prestigious institutions such as the Aspen Center for Physics and KITP Santa Barbara in the USA.

Brückner’s research focuses on the dynamics of multicellular systems and the development of models for cell differentiation and migration. At ISTA, he is currently researching how cells and tissues coordinate the formation of patterns and shapes through complex biophysical mechanisms. His research combines theoretical models with experimental data and contributes to our understanding of cell and tissue behavior.

Forensic Psychology

Portrait of Jelena Zumbach-Basu
Prof. Dr. Jelena Zumbach-Basu

The University Council has appointed Professor Jelena Zumbach-Basu as professor of forensic psychology in the Faculty of Psychology. She will take up her professorship in Basel on 1 October 2024.

Zumbach-Basu is currently professor of legal psychology with a focus on family law psychology at the Berlin Psychological University. She obtained her doctorate in psychology at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg in 2017 with a thesis on mental disorders in children and adolescents in family law proceedings. After completing her further training as a psychologist specializing in forensic psychology, she was appointed junior professor of family law psychology at the Berlin Psychological University in 2018 and Professor in 2024. Zumbach-Basu also works as a psychological expert evaluator in child protection and custody proceedings.

Her research covers the prognosis and prevention of child abuse and neglect, forensic psychological diagnostics and assessment in child protection proceeding, as well as the rights of children under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Other focal points are the socio-emotional development and the emergence of aggressive and delinquent behavior in children and adolescents.

Two promotions

Professor Jonathan De Roo, tenure-track assistant professor of nanomaterials in the Department of Chemistry in the Faculty of Science since 2019, will be promoted to associate professor on 1 August 2024.

Professor Henriette Meyer zu Schwabedissen, tenure-track assistant professor from 2013 and associate professor of biopharmacy in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the Faculty of Science since 2015, will be promoted to full professor on 1 August 2024.

Three adjunct professorships

The University Council has also approved the Senate’s decision to appoint the following adjunct professors:

Faculty of Medicine
  • Professor Matthias Schwenkglenks for health economics – public health
  • Dr. Arnoud Templeton for medical oncology
Faculty of Science
  • Dr. Jarrett Grayson Camp for developmental biology and genome analysis
To top