A Swiss network brings stress researchers together

In an effort to promote stress research in Switzerland, Professors Carmen Sandi (EPFL Brain Mind Institute) and Dominique de Quervain (University of Basel) have founded stressnetwork.ch , a network of over 30 renowned scientists from Swiss universities working in different areas of stress.

A major risk factor for mental and physical health, stress can rise from difficult situations in our private of professional life. Chronic stress can have a number of consequences, including high blood pressure, weight gain, addiction, burn-out, and depression, to name just a few. Stress also translates into financial problems, which is something we have been aware of for a long time: a 2003 study by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of the Swiss Government showed that stress causes an economic burden of several billion Swiss francs per year.

"A better understanding of stress is a prerequisite to prevent and treat stress-related health problems," says Professor Carmen Sandi at EPFL’s Brain Mind Institute. And in order to achieve this better understanding, Sandi and Professor Dominique de Quervain at the University of Basel, two world-renowned experts on stress research, have now founded a national network of more than 30 stress researchers from Swiss universities.

Centralized under the website www.stressnetwork.ch , the network’s mission is "to promote stress research in Switzerland by raising public and political awareness for the importance of stress research, fostering scientific interaction between different disciplines and supporting fundraising for stress research."

" We believe that scientists from different disciplines need to team up to adequately address the complex phenomenon of stress", says de Quervain.

"In addition to our main focus in stress research, the Stress Network also aims to help ameliorate stress conditions in Switzerland," says Sandi. "We have initiated exchanges with major stakeholders - politicians, foundations, unions - to identify key issues in which our combined expertise can contribute with innovative solutions and approaches. We are also planning a series of activities to communicate key developments in stress research and management to the public."

Nobel laureate to speak at stressnetwork.ch symposium

Stressnetwork.ch is organizing public lectures and yearly symposia around the topic of stress. The next symposium will be held on 27 February 2019 in Basel . "Among the invited international speakers, Elizabeth Blackburn, winner of the Nobel Prize 2009, will speak about the effects of stress on chromosomes, health and aging," says de Quervain. The lecture will take place on February 27, at 6 pm in the Aula of the University of Basel. The lecture is public, but email registration at [email protected] is required for attendance.