NCCR Chemical Biology

2010 series

Home institutions: University of Geneva, EPFL

The National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) "Chemical Biology - Visualisation and Control of Biological Processes Using Chemistry" uses chemistry tools to obtain a better understanding of life at the molecular level.

Until now, few technologies could characterise in detail the countless biochemical activities that constitute a living cell. In the NCCR Chemical Biology, chemists, biochemists, physicists and cell biologists develop innovative techniques based on small molecules and proteins to obtain new information about cellular processes and control them in-situ. The new tools will be applicable to various biological phenomena like visualising the activity of selected proteins during cell division and investigating how membranes control the activity of proteins in them. The NCCR is also engaged in establishing a platform for chemical screening aimed at developing a new generation of molecules with biological effects.

Further information on the NCCR:

  • Contact details

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    NCCR Management

    NCCR Director

    Prof. Robbie Loewith
    Director, NCCR Chemical Biology University of Geneva
    Department of Molecular Biology
    30, quai Ernest-Ansermet
    CH-1211 Genève 4
    Phone: +41 (0) 22 379 61 16
    Robbie.Loewith@unige.chExternal Link Icon


    Prof. Christian Heinis
    Institut des sciences et ingénierie chimiques
    BCH 5305 (Bâtochime)
    CH-1015 Lausanne
    Phone: +41 (0) 21 693 93 50
    christian.heinis@epfl.chExternal Link Icon

    Management / Coordination

    Dr. Phaedra Simitsek
    Université de Genève
    Sciences II, bureau 3-308​
    30 quai Ernest Ansermet
    CH-1211 Genève 4
    Phone: +41 (0) 22 379 64 07
    Phaedra.Simitsek@unige.chExternal Link Icon

  • Funding

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    NCCRs are financed through grants awarded by the SNSF, but also from other sources. The home institution involved in the NCCR also contributes a substantial amount of money. The available overall budget of the NCCR is further increased by monetary contributions from the project participants and third-party funds, which are generally invested by industrial companies.

    The SNSF is financing the NCCR Chemical Biology in its third funding period.

    Financing 2010 – 2021 (Swiss francs)

    Funding source




    SNSF grant*




    Funds of Geneva University*




    Funds of EPFL*




    Group funds of the project participants




    External funds




  • Evaluation / Review Panel

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    For each NCCR, the SNSF appoints a Review Panel composed of renowned experts whose task it is to evaluate scientific quality and the progress made in NCCR projects. The Review Panel of the NCCR Chemical Biology consists of the following experts:

    Contact person at the SNSF:

    Dr. Anaëlle Foucault-Dumas
    NCCR Team
    Swiss National Science Foundation
    Wildhainweg 3
    3001 Berne
    Phone: +41 (0) 31 308 22 92
    anaelle.foucault@snf.chExternal Link Icon

  • Research structures

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    National Centres of Competence in Research leave their mark on the research landscape well beyond the SNSF funding period. They help to define key topics and sustainably change Swiss research structures. Thus NCCRs can lead to the creation of new professorships and courses of study as well as new infrastructures or platforms at the universities involved.

    NCCRs operate as a network in which a large number of scientific partners are active. Working within these networks has borne fruit in the form of new research approaches and excellent scientific contributions.

    Structures created by this NCCR until now:

  • Contributions to society and the economy

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    The National Centres of Competence in Research not only engage in cutting-edge research, they also play an important role in transferring knowledge and new technologies to the economy and to society at large. They lead to the formation of start-ups, and the new insights have the potential to awaken the interest of politicians, globally active companies and the public at large.

    Communication and knowledge transfer of the NCCR Chemical Biology:

  • Promotion of academic careers and equal opportunities

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    The National Centres of Competence in Research consciously promote promising young researchers and are committed to equal opportunities for men and women in research.

    Measures taken by the NCCR Chemical Biology to promote young researchers and gender equality.