Navigation auf


Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center

Impact of plant sciences on our lives – food, environment, health and knowledge

25th Anniversary Symposium of the Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center

Save the 8th of December 2023 and look forward to exiting talks given by leading scientists addressing the contribution of plant science research to key challenges of today.

Location: University of Zurich, Aula and Lichthof, Rämistrasse 71, 8006 Zürich

Registration: register here until November 6th 2023


moderated by Manuela Dahinden   Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center

13:30-13:40Michael Schaepman   Rektor University of Zurich

Vision for plant sciences

13:40-13:50Bernhard Schmid   Founding member of the PSC andBruno Studer   President of the PSC, ETH Zurich

The Plant Science Center – impact generation in research, education and outreach (success stories)


moderated byNina Buchmann    ETH Zurich

13:50-14:20Prof. Dr. Frank EwertDirector of the Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF)


moderated bySabine Rumpf    University of Basel

14:20-15:50 TBA

Priorities for research in ecology and environmental science


moderated byCyril Zipfel    University of Zurich

15:50-16:20Jürg GertschUniversity of Bern

Aspects of molecular pharmacology related to natural products

Jürg Gertsch studied cultural anthropology at the Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV) and Neurosciences and Biochemistry at Sussex University (UK) and the Biozentrum Basel. He received his in pharmacognosy and natural product chemistry from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich. Since 2019 he is a professor (Ordinarius) for Pharmaceutical Biology and Biochemistry at the medical faculty of the University of Bern. He has done extensive fieldwork among the Yanomami Amerindians in Venezuela and carried out ethnopharmacological expeditions in Mexico, Bolivia, and Sarawak. Jürg Gertsch’s transdisciplinary research focuses on molecular pharmacology of the endocannabinoid system, cannabinoids, and drug discovery. As an expert in molecular pharmacology and translational research he was in the management board and a PI of the NCCR TransCure (2012-2022) and Marie Curie ITN MedPlant. He is a co-founder of Synendos Therapeutics, a startup that brings a novel cannabimimetic drug developed in his lab to the clinics. He is author and co-author of more than 170 scholarly articles and is a co-inventor on several licensed patents.

16:20 Coffee Break

Knowledge of science

moderated byCélia Baroux   University of Zurich

16:50-17:20Sir David Baulcombe University of Cambridge

The most important achievements of basic plant sciences

David Baulcombe is a British plant scientist and geneticist. He is Regius Professor of Botany (emeritus post 2019)  at the University of Cambridge. David Baulcombe has made an outstanding contribution to plant virology, gene silencing and disease resistance. He discovered a specific signalling system and an antiviral defence system in plants. Baulcombe also helped unravel the importance of small interfering RNA in epigenetics and in defence against viruses. This led to the development of new technologies that promise to revolutionise gene discovery in plant biology. In June 2009, Baulcombe was awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II. In praise of research in fundamental plant biology Sir David Baulcombe will reflect in his talk on how plant scientists have contributed to the concepts of (cell) biology. He will sketch a brief history of discoveries in plant sciences that still impact us today, and will finish up with some key challenges ahead.

Panel discussion

Panel discussion with all speakers and three young plant scientists: How do new innovations come about - key research questions for the future

17:20-17:50 TBA

Moments of Discovery

17:50-18:00 Final remarks

18:00-20:00 Apéro for all particaipants  and Artistic poster Exhibition “Moments of Discovery” in the Lichthof, University of Zurich

19:00-22:00 Dinner (invitations only), Uniturm, University of Zurich

Scientific Program Committee

Manuela Dahinden Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center

Bruno Studer ETH Zurich

Célia Baroux University of Zurich

Caroline Weckerle University of Zurich

Sabine Rumpf University of Basel

Cyril Zipfel University of Zurich

Symposium Coordination

Romy Kohlmann Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center

Weiterführende Informationen

Call for participation

Exhibition “Moments of Discovery” 

To celebrate ground-breaking works in plant sciences, PSC invites its members to share their latest discoveries with us. We will be able to present 20 discoveries with an artistic poster.


Panel discussion “How do new innovations come about - key research questions for the future”

PSC will invite young plant scientists to join the panel organization team.