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University in the spotlight: University of Zurich

© Universität Zürich; Frank Brüderli


  • Founded in 1833, the University of Zurich (UZH) is Switzerland’s largest university, with a current enrollment of over 26,000 students.
  • Over 5,000 highly qualified members of the teaching staff, including approximately 500 professors, teach and conduct research at one of the seven faculties: the Faculty of Theology; the Faculty of Law; the Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Information Technology; the Faculty of Medicine; the Vetsuisse Faculty; the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences; and the Faculty of Science.
  • As a member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), UZH is one of Europe’s most prestigious research institutions. The University of Zurich also enjoys a reputation for excellence throughout the world, as is demonstrated in its regular placement in international rankings (Shanghai, QS, THE Rankings). 
  • UZH has established twelve University Research Priority Programs: Asia and Europe; Dynamics of Healthy Aging; Ethics; Evolution in Action: From Genomes to Ecosystems; Financial Market Regulation; Global Change and Biodiversity; Integrative Human Physiology; Social Networks; Language and Space; Systems Biology / Functional Genomics; Translational Cancer Research; Solar Light to Chemical Energy Conversion.
  • Twelve UZH scholars have been awarded the Nobel Prize. These achievements and the general high-quality of scholarship at UZH contribute considerably toward establishing the excellent reputation of the University.
  • Approximately 18 percent of our students and 38 percent of our teaching staff come from outside Switzerland.

The Faculty of Medicine: A Place of World Renown

© Universität Zürich; Ursula Meisser

The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Zurich offers an outstanding education in human medicine, dentistry and chiropractic. It has 2,600 enrolled students and over 700 staff members are actively involved in teaching activities. The Faculty’s five associated hospitals are regularly distinguished for their superior research findings in biomedicine, which are then translated into better ways of diagnosing, treating and preventing diseases.
As part of its effort to promote excellence in strategic areas of clinical research, the Faculty of Medicine has established its Clinical Research Priority Programs (CRPP).

The CRPP attach great value to knowledge exchange between basic research, applied research and clinical care, as the following two examples illustrate:


The CRPP "From basic research to the clinic: Novel tissue engineered skin grafts for Zurich" is a clinical research priority program of the University of Zurich. The research is carried out by the Tissue Biology Research Unit, a laboratory at the Department of Surgery of the University Children's Hospital Zurich that specializes in basic research. The main goal at the Unit is the in vivo construction of a skin substitute using a patient’s own tissues. Ideally, the new skin composites will approximate the qualities of human skin and be suitable for use in reconstructive and plastic surgery.

In a medical breakthrough, researchers at the Tissue Biology Research Unit have for the first time engineered skin cells containing blood and lymphatic capillaries. They succeeded in isolating all the necessary types of skin cells from human skin tissue and were able to engineer a skin graft that is similar to full-thickness skin. The new technology could help patients with severe burns who no longer have enough of their own healthy skin for grafts.

Sleep and Health

The CRPP Sleep and Health is an interdisciplinary, translational research and teaching program with the goal of better understanding the underlying pathophysiology of sleep-wake disorders. The knowledge gained through this research will be used to improve treatment ‒ including personalized therapies ‒ of the highly prevalent sleep-wake disorders in society.

New research opportunities for EuroScholars within the CRPP Sleep and Health

The research project “Molecular and cellular mechanisms regulation sleep and biological clocks” is carried out at the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology and is open for EuroScholars students. Sleep timing is regulated both by a biological ‒ circadian ‒ clock that directs us to sleep at particular times of day, and a homeostatic system that increases our desire to sleep with an increasing period of time spent awake. The laboratory explores the biological timing at a molecular level by using viral tools in both animal models and primary human cells. Results from these studies show that a part of the coding in humans is genetically determined: The biological clocks of "early birds" run measurably faster than those of "owls." But, findings also demonstrate that other factors are environmentally determined by light, which rewires the neurons of clock tissues in the brain. In this project, candidates will use viral technologies, organotypic slice culture, and in vivo imaging of mouse models to explore how clocks in different parts of the brain communicate with one another.

For more research projects open to EuroScholars please consult: http://www.euroscholars.eu/

About Zurich

© Universität Zürich; Manfred Richter

Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city and is a major economic and cultural hub. The attractive location on Lake Zurich with the Swiss Alps nearby as well as its many cultural institutions, diverse leisure activities, and events for all ages and tastes make Zurich a great place to live. Zurich regularly earns top marks in quality of living rankings ‒ proof of the high standard of living in this lively metropolis.

Upcoming event:

Deans & Directors of Honors Programs visit at University of Zurich, 24-25 March 2014

The University of Zurich takes pleasure in welcoming a delegation of Deans and Directors of Honors Programs from several US Universities on 24-25 March 2014. UZH is proud to have the opportunity to introduce the delegation to some of UZH’s research priority programs, such as Social Networks, as well as research facilities, such as the Center of Experimental Rheumatology & Clinic for Rheumatology, the Brain Research Institute or the Institute of Neuroinformatics. The delegation will visit the University of Geneva  and Utrecht University  afterwards.


 New Research projects at University of Zurich:

• Protective immune responses during Epstein Barr virus (EBV) infection
• Molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating sleep and biological clocks.
• Predisposing factors moderating the development of social and non-social cognitive deficits in drug users
• A Probabalistic Interpretation of Motor Adaptation

New Research projects at University of Geneva:

• Ethnic Power Relations and Conflict in Fragile States

Visit from Case Western Reserve University at Leiden University and Utrecht University:

11 March 2014, Ms. Autumn Bleecher, Study Abroad Advisor, visited Leiden University.
After a short tour through Leiden, accompanied by the Coordinator of the European Office of the EuroScholars Program, Ms. Usha Mohunlol, they had a meeting with the 3 students who are currently participating in the EuroScholars Program at Leiden University. The students, Brianna Valois (Clark University), Andrew Goldfarb (The College of New Jersey) and Olivia Vande Griek (Clark University) discussed their experience in the application process and other student related topics. The meeting continued with Brianna’s Research Project Supervisor, Dr. Chris Warren who is a Researcher at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Institute for Psychology  and Cognitive Psychology

The visit was followed by a visit to Utrecht University on March 12. Autumn met with the Institutional EuroScholars coordinator (Mr. Caspar de Bok) and Jacqueline Patterson, a EuroScholars student from Penn State University.

Upcoming Conferences:

NCUR (National Conferences on Undergraduate Research):
April 3 - 5, 2014
University of Kentucky,
Lexington, KY

May 25 - 30, 2014 
San Diego, CA

Some of the members of the EuroScholars Consortium will attend the NAFSA. Would you like to schedule a meeting, please contact:
Ms. Usha Mohunlol (u.c.mohunlol@sea.leidenuniv.nl )

September 16 - 19, 2014
Prague, Czech Republic

Some of the members of the EuroScholars Consortium will attend the EAIE. Would you like to schedule a meeting, please contact: Ms. Usha Mohunlol (u.c.mohunlol@sea.leidenuniv.nl )