38 million francs for interdisciplinary research

Weaning in mammals, prediction and treatment of suicidal tendencies, and cheaper clean energy: the SNSF funds another 15 projects of the Sinergia programme.

In June 2021, the SNSF received 66 Sinergia applications. The best 15 projects have now been selected for funding; this corresponds to a success rate of 23 per cent. In total, 55 researchers from a wide range of disciplines will work in the selected projects. The overall funding amount is 38.4 million francs, or 2.6 million on average.

Microbiotic changes

By using gnotobiotic mouse models, which are germ-free or only include known microorganisms, one of the projects will investigate how the intestinal microbiome of mammals changes during weaning. These changes have a lasting impact on the health of adult organisms. Four researchers at Inselspital Bern and ETH Zurich will collaborate on the project. Their specialist areas are molecular biology, gnotobiology, bioengineering and bioinformatics.

Smartphone-based treatment

Psychology, linguistics, psychiatry and machine learning will come together in a project by four researchers of the University of Zurich, Zurich Psychiatric University Hospital and Columbia University in New York. Their aim: predicting the development of suicidal tendencies by considering key linguistic, psychological, clinical and neurobiological indicators. In a further step, they will devise treatment modules that run on smartphones.

Improved efficiency

Another project will develop new technologies for more efficient biological solar panels. This is a joint effort by three researchers of EPF Lausanne, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland, and the National Research Council of Italy (CNR) in Bari. They will use methods from organic chemistry, materials science, electrical chemistry and molecular biology.

The Sinergia programme of the SNSF supports joint projects between two to four researchers carrying out interdisciplinary research that can lead to groundbreaking findings. 196 projects have been supported since 2016.