2012 Keynote Speakers

We have three keynote speakers:

  • Dr. Ingo Potrykus – co-inventor of the ‘golden rice’ and chairman of the Golden Rice Humanitarian Board

Dr. Potrykus is an emeritus professor at the ETH Zurich, Institute of Plant Sciences, and a highly distinguished plant scientist. As a scientist together with his team he developed and established key transgenic techniques for genetic engineering of sustainable food crops to rescue harvests and improve their nutritional quality. One of his major achievements was the co-invention of ‘golden rice’ along with Peter Beyer. Studies have shown that ‘golden rice’ synthesizes sufficiently high amounts of beta-carotene to alleviate blindness and death from pro-Vitamin A deficiency within a normal calorie intake. More info at – goldenrice.org

  • Drew Berry – MacArthur Fellow, Biomedical animator, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research Melbourne, Australia

Drew Berry has been a biomedical animator at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research since 1995. He is a trained cell biologist turned biomedical animator whose stunning animations provide scientifically accurate visualizations explaining several cellular and molecular processes in molecular biology, cancer biology, malaria, and immunology. He has won several awards for his animations and more recently, he was awarded the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2010. In addition to this, his animations have been featured at various museums, congresses and institutes world wide including International Genetics Congress 2003 (Australia), the Museum of Modern Art (USA), the Guggenheim Museum (USA), the Royal Institute of Great Britain (UK), Museum of Natural History Stuttgart ‘200th birthday of Charles Darwin’ exhibition (Germany) and University of Geneva’s ‘Genome Dome’ exhibition (Switzerland).

  • Dr. Jens Selige – scientific coordinator, SystemsX.ch, the Swiss Initiative in Systems Biology

SystemsX.ch is up to now the biggest public research initiative in Switzerland with the mandate to promote Systems Biology. It is a consortium with nine universities and three research institutions as partners, building a large scientific network.

SystemsX.ch is determined to establish Switzerland among the world-leader in quantitative Systems Biology. This goal shall be achieved by combining Switzerland’s strengths in genomics and biomedical research with its flourishing core sciences as chemistry, mathematics, physics and engineering. In a paradigm shift biology is moving from a descriptive, qualitative science to a predictive, quantitative one. SystemsX.ch aims to accelerate this shift on three avenues: (1) developing innovative research and technology to obtain and analyse quantitative biomedical data, (2) via building mathematical models that simulate and predict the behaviour of biological systems, and most importantly: (3) asking the right biological questions.

SystemsX.ch sponsors a variety of projects, for periods ranging from 1 year to 4 years. SystemsX.ch encourages applications from young researchers, supports high-risk Systems Biology projects, and promotes Industry interactions with our academic partners through special projects. SystemsX.ch supports more than 1’000 researchers from about 300 research groups in 100 projects. Out of the 300 research group leaders, about 50% are biologists by training. The other 50% are chemists, physicists, engineers, computational scientists, medical scientists, mathematicians and even economists.