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 - Jul 12
Life Sciences
Long considered 'junk', non-coding RNAs have emerged as important regulators of diverse cellular processes, including the silencing of genes. Working in yeast, researchers from the Bühler group have identified more than 20 mutations that enable RNA-mediated gene silencing. The findings could improve our understanding of the factors that keep gene silencing in check.
Life Sciences - Health - Jul 7
Life Sciences - Health

Proteins known as transcription factors act as switches that regulate the expression of nearby genes, but the identity of some of these genetic levers has so far remained mysterious. Now, researchers from the Schübeler group have pinpointed a new switch that regulates essential genes in the mouse and the human genome. Identifying missing gene switches and their function is critical to fully understand the molecular basis of health and disease.

Life Sciences - Jun 29
Life Sciences

How can proteins bind DNA in the cell nucleus, where it is present in form of chromatin, tightly wrapped around histones and therefore mostly inaccessible? Recently, several studies began to uncover the various strategies used by DNA-binding proteins to solve this problem. In a Cell "Leading Edge review", Alicia Michael and Nico Thomä look at these findings and highlight general principles that aim to help predict how a protein recognizes a specific stretch of DNA, even when "hidden" in chromatin.

Campus - Jun 7

Starting a PhD can be daunting, especially during a pandemic, when uncertainty and social isolation can cause some extra emotional and logistical upheavals. That's why the FMI launched a 'mentor matching' initiative. By pairing senior PhD students with students who joined the institute during the COVID-19 pandemic, the initiative aims at helping newcomers meet their peers, navigate university bureaucracy, and familiarize themselves with Basel and the FMI.

Life Sciences - Campus - May 5

Spotlight on FMIers showcases the lives, work and passions of the institute's researchers and support staff. This time, graduate student Gergely Tihanyi tells us about his love for food and cooking, and he shares his insights on the FMI Master Chef series — virtual events where FMIers come together to cook and socialize.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - Apr 19
Life Sciences - Chemistry

The spatial organization of the genome is fundamental for the regulation of our genes and has to be established de novo during early embryogenesis. By combining powerful Drosophila genetics with 3D chromosome modelling, a collaboration between the Giorgetti group at the FMI and the MPI of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg revealed a critical role of the epigenetic regulator HP1 in the establishment of 3D genome organization in the early Drosophila embryo.

Life Sciences - Jul 6

The governing council of Basel awarded this year's Science Prize of the city of Basel to Pico Caroni. The neurobiologist, who is a group leader at the FMI and professor of neurobiology at the University of Basel, is being honored for his life's work in basic neuroscience research - memory research in particular - and for establishing Basel as a main center for research in the field of neuronal circuits.

Life Sciences - Jun 21
Life Sciences

Using miniature guts grown in a dish and 3D biophysical modelling, FMI researchers and their collaborators have uncovered the forces that give the intestinal wall its classic brushlike appearance. The findings can help to understand how the gut takes form during development — and how this process goes awry in disease.

Life Sciences - Psychology - May 26
Life Sciences - Psychology

Fear protects us by making us alert to danger, but the persistence of fearful memories can lead to serious mental conditions. Now, an international team of researchers co-led by Andreas Lüthi has found that the activity of different cells in the brain's threat-detector hub regulates the switch between high and low fear states. The finding could help to understand why some individuals are more susceptible to anxiety and trauma-related disorders.

Life Sciences - Research Management - Apr 22

This year's recipients of the prestigious Advanced Grants from the European Research Council (ERC) have been announced today. The neurobiologist Prof. Silvia Arber, research group leader at the Friedrich Miescher Institute and the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, is among the awardees. Her funded project aims at understanding how brainstem neurons interact in the motor system to control generation and learning of body movements.

Life Sciences - Health - Apr 13
Life Sciences - Health

The protection of genome integrity of germ cells is essential for animal fertility. Researchers from the Grosshans group characterized a defense mechanism against selfish genetic elements in the C. elegans germline. They identified a protein processing mechanism that controls the activity of small RNAs to achieve specific silencing of transposons while sparing endogenous genes.

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