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A higher life expectancy and quality of life into old age, growing demands on healthcare, increasingly effective prevention and healing measures: medicine is a major concern in our society. ETH Zurich uses its wide range of skills to make a significant contribution to the continued development of medical research and training and the promotion of the transfer of new findings into medical practice.

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The Liver4Life project aims to make it possible to grow a patient’s healthy liver tissue outside their body until it is large enough to replace the diseased part of the liver. (Photo: ETH Zurich / Alessandro Della Bella)

About a third of ETH Zurich’s professors in nine different departments are directly or indirectly involved in medical research, from natural scientists to engineers. Their main activities include medically relevant fundamental research, diagnostics, medical technologies and the development of bioactive substances. Computer scientists, who use data analysis and machine learning to drive the field of personalised medicine, also have an increasingly important role.

ETH researchers work closely with university medical faculties and hospitals and other clinics. Together with the university hospitals and the Universities of Zurich and Basel, ETH has formed the Personalized Health Alliance, which aims to take a leading role in the Swiss Personalized Health Network Initiative from SERI (State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation) and the ETH Board's Personalized Health and Related Technologies (PHRT) Initiative. The goal is to improve prevention and treatment, and thus the quality and efficiency of clinical medicine, through individually medical interventions. Under the umbrella of University Medicine Zurich, ETH Zurich researchers work with researchers and clinicians from these two institutions on various projects. A donation enabled ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich to found the Wyss Translation Center, which focuses on translating results from fundamental research into applications for use in the healthcare sector. ETH also coordinates the ETH Domain’s focus area of Medicine and Medical Technologies.

In the field of education, ETH Zurich offers a number of courses that border medicine and technical sciences, such as the Master’s in Health Sciences and Technology with a specialisation in medical technology. To meet the rapid developments in medicine, a new Bachelor’s in Medicine will be introduced at ETH in autumn 2017. It is part of a joint education initiative with the universities of Basel and Zurich, and Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI). The degree content, in accordance with the Swiss Catalogue of Learning Objectives for Medical Training, will be supplemented by an ETH-specific immersion in scientific and technical principles and research. The partner universities will take the graduates into their Master’s programmes.

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