Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research

Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research

Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research   link
Location: Basel - North West Switzerland
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 - Physics

New work by FMI researchers shows that key proteins help to stabilize the interaction between otherwise highly dynamic DNA structures. The findings shed light onto how the complex folds that help to fit nearly two meters of DNA into the cell's nucleus influence important biological processes.

Several diseases, including certain types of cancer and some neurodevelopmental conditions, have aberrant patterns of DNA methylation, a chemical modification that regulates gene expression in ways that keep genes in the 'off' position. FMI researchers found that DNA methylation keeps genes silent mostly by inhibiting the binding of DNA by transcription factors — proteins that control how genes are expressed. The findings advance our understanding of how chemical modifications on DNA regulate gene expression.

The three FMI internal science prizes are awarded yearly and recognize respectively the best thesis, the best postdoc study and an ingenious new method or tool. The prizes 2022 were awarded last week at the FMI Annual Meeting, in Grindelwald, in the Swiss Alps. Read more about the winners and their projects.

Career - Jul 21

One of the missions of the FMI is to offer talented young scientists from all over the world the opportunity to engage in cutting-edge research and become future leaders in academia, industry and other sectors. The FMI's PhD candidate body is represented by six representatives, who serve as a general voice for doctoral researchers. We spoke to the current PhD reps to learn about their work and activities — and what they enjoy the most about their role.

Prisca Liberali, a research group leader at the FMI and Adjunct Professor at the University of Basel, receives the Gold Medal of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). She is recognized for her exceptional contributions to understanding the formation of intestinal organoids from stem cells and for developing new analytical tools.

At first glance, Caenorhabditis elegans , or C. elegans for short, isn't exactly awe-inspiring. This transparent roundworm, about 1 millimeter long, is essentially a set of liquid-filled tubes surrounded by a flexible exoskeleton; its huge gut starts at one end with a mouth, also known as the pharynx, and ends in the anus.

Career - Oct 25

At the FMI, about 25 staff in Administration — from grant experts to facility managers — offer scientists support so that researchers can focus on their science. Human Resources associate Marilyn Vaccaro started working at the FMI in 1987, when personal computers were just becoming available and DNA was sequenced using meter-long radioactive gels. We talked to Marilyn about how work practices and people at the FMI changed over the past 35 years, and how she contributes to the science done at the FMI.

Filippo M. Rijli, group leader at the FMI and Professor in Neurobiology at the University of Basel, has been elected Member of the Italian Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, one the world's oldest and most prestigious scientific academies.

FMI researchers developed an imaging approach that allowed them to visualize individual molecules involved in the cell's response to stress.

Research Management - Life Sciences - Jun 20

Andreas Lüthi has been awarded a highly endowed Advanced Grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). This new transitional grant scheme is aimed at researchers who intended to apply for an ERC grant. Lüthi's project addresses the fundamental question how the brain controls emotional states.

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