Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research

Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research

Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research   link
Location: Basel
Maulbeerstrasse 66, 4058 Basel

Discipline: Health
Affiliation: Novartis

Understanding the mechanisms of disease

The Friedrich Miescher Institute is devoted to fundamental biomedical research aimed at understanding the basic molecular mechanisms of health and disease. We communicate and patent our findings to enable their translation into medical application. The FMI focuses on the fields of
  • Epigenetics
  • Growth control
  • Neurobiology
In these fields, the FMI has gained international recognition as a center of excellence in innovative biomedical research.

Training young scientists

Life Sciences - Chemistry - Feb 18
Life Sciences - Chemistry
During development, scores of molecular signals prod cells to take on specialized identities and functions. In response to some of these signals, the cellular machinery awakens specific genes called ‘immediate early genes' within minutes. The Rijli group has now identified a unique molecular signature that keeps immediate early genes quiet yet poised for rapid activation. Working out how immediate early genes are expressed at the right level in response to appropriate signals has important implications for our understanding of development, establishment of cell identity, and other key processes such as learning and memory formation in the brain.
Life Sciences - Feb 16

In eukaryotes, histones are often modified and evicted at site of DNA double-strand breaks in order to facilitate end-resection and break repair. Together with the protein analysis facility of the FMI, the Gasser group has quantified massive changes in the chromatin associated proteome in response to DNA damage. Triggered by ubiquitin ligases, these changes drive the degradation of core and linker histones genome-wide, evict the transcription machinery and increase the efficiency of homologous recombination.

Health - Life Sciences - Feb 1
Health - Life Sciences

The generation of antibodies in B-cells takes place in a dynamic structure that forms during infections, the germinal center (GC). The formation of GCs lays at the heart of the immune response; this process is highly regulated and not fully understood yet. The Matthias group now provides novel insights into the regulation of GC formation and GC-derived B cell lymphomas, highlighting one particular transcriptional coactivator as the master regulator of the GC reaction and a possible therapeutic target for lymphoma.

Event - Life Sciences - Jan 25
Event - Life Sciences

FMI group leader Prisca Liberali, who is also a Professor at the University of Basel, receives the Friedrich Miescher Award 2021 for her research on design principles of tissue organization. The Friedrich Miescher Award is awarded yearly to a young scientist based in Switzerland for outstanding achievements in biochemistry. Prisca Liberali shares the award with EPFL Professor Andrea Ablasser.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - Dec 14, 2020
Life Sciences - Chemistry

Just like people, cells get stressed too. A sudden drop in oxygen, overheating, or toxins can trigger a cascade of molecular changes that lead cells to stop growing, produce stress-protective factors, and form stress granules - proteins and RNA molecules huddled together into membrane-less organelles. Although the function of stress granules remains largely unknown, it is assumed that they contain only RNAs that are not translated into proteins. Now, a study upends this longstanding idea, showing that messenger RNAs (mRNAs) within stress granules can indeed make proteins.

Life Sciences - Health - Nov 26, 2020

How do molecules involved in activating our immune system discriminate between our own DNA and foreign pathogens? Researchers from the Thomä group, in collaboration with the EPFL, deciphered the structural and functional basis of a DNA-sensing molecule when it comes in contact with the cell's own DNA, providing crucial insights into the recognition of self vs. non-self DNA.

Life Sciences - Feb 8
Life Sciences

Chromatin remodelers are needed to take nucleosomes away from DNA in order to make room for transcription factors to bind, and regulate the activity of our genes. It has been unclear how dynamic this process is. Researchers from the Schübeler group now revealed that active regulatory regions undergo continuous cycles of chromatin opening.

Career - Jan 28

FMI Director Emeritus and Group Leader Emeritus, Susan Gasser, has been elected director of the Foundation of the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer (ISREC) by the Foundation Council. The ISREC Foundation has contributed to significant discoveries in oncology, and actively and substantially participates in the fight against cancer.

Life Sciences - Jan 14
Life Sciences

Transposons are foreign DNA elements capable of random insertion into the genome, an event that can be very dangerous for a cell. Their activity must be silenced to maintain genomic integrity, which is primarily achieved by H3K9me3-mediated repression. Researchers from the Gasser group identified two parallel pathways that are essential for H3K9me3- mediated transcriptional repression and thus for protecting the genome from toxic transposon activation.

Career - Life Sciences - Dec 7, 2020

Susan Gasser is a world-leading scientist in the field of genome biology and has been involved in guiding science policy and institutes across Europe. She was the FMI Director for 15 years, from 2004 until 2019.

Life Sciences - Computer Science - Nov 2, 2020
Life Sciences - Computer Science

The requirements of real biological neural networks are modest compared to the complex deep neural networks used in machine learning, which come with substantial memory and energy demands. The Zenke group have developed a new method in machine learning called Neural Tangent Transfer to make a sparse neural network which performs almost as well as densely connected deep neural network on various learning tasks, but at a heavily reduced computing cost.




Website Preview