November 11, 2020

The NCCR Microbiomes has started!

On 1 July 2020 the NCCR Microbiomes was launched. The 20 participating groups from six institutions across Switzerland are already working hard to understand how microbiomes from several different environments function and evolve, and how their behaviour can be modeled and harnessed for healthcare, agricultural, environmental or industrial applications. The NCCR can run for up to 12 years, with financial support from the Swiss National Science Foundation, as well as from the host institutions UNIL and ETHZ.

The NCCR Microbiomes’ research is structured around six Work Packages (WPs). The first four study the function of microbiomes in clinical settings, in animals, in and on plants, and in industrial and environmental contexts. A fifth WP deals with synthetic microbiomes, while the sixth is dedicated to modeling and simulations. All six WPs interact with each other, with most research groups involved in at least two of them.

More than 30 PhD students and postdocs have already started working in the NCCR, with many of their projects building bridges between different NCCR labs. This burgeoning community includes microbiologists, engineers, computational scientists, chemists, physicists and medical students, and will grow and become even more interdisciplinary over the next months. Promoting the education of these young scientists is a central aim of the NCCR, and it will be pursued by offering diverse training activities as well as funding opportunities.

From Spring 2021 the NCCR Microbiomes will organise conferences, workshops and events to promote scientific exchange among the community, as well as with other researchers in Switzerland and abroad. We will also reach out to the general public with the aim of introducing them to the fascinating world of microbial communities. Last but not least, the NCCR will foster the transfer of knowledge and technology towards industrial applications, and will build strong bonds with stakeholders from the private sector and hospitals.

We look forward to an exciting period of science and community building!