July 22, 2020

Martin Ackermann appointed new Chair of the Swiss COVID-19 Science Task Force

The NCCR Microbiomes member Martin Ackermann has been appointed Chair of the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force (SN-STF). The Professor of Molecular Microbial Biology at ETH Zurich and Head of the Department of Environmental Microbiology at Eawag has acted as vice-chair of the advisory panel coordinating the task force’s activities since its creation by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) in March 2020. From August 2020, Ackermann will succeed Prof. Matthias Egger, who will continue to act as an expert for the Task Force, but in the future will focus on his work as president of the National Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation and lecturer in epidemiology at the University of Bern. 

Following the disbandment of the Crisis Commission of the Swiss Federal Government, the SN-STF has received a new mandate. The work of the Task Force in the next few months will involve a more direct contact with the FOPH, while continuing to provide the latest scientific knowledge to help containing the virus in Switzerland. As he told the ETH Zurich in an interview, Ackermann is confident that the new settings will enable a faster response to new findings. One purpose of the Task Force, according to the NCCR member, is to develop a strategy that will maintain low rates of viral infection. By finding solutions for the current crisis, we can also be better prepared for the next one: «Key for me is the belief that we can successfully beat this crisis by working together», concludes Ackermann.