Valérie Clerc is the new Secretary General of SAMS

In June 2017, the Executive Board appointed Valérie Clerc General Secretary of SAMS. On 1 November, she is taking over from Hermann Amstad, who will leave SAMS at the end of the month after 18 years of cooperation.

The press release dated July 4, 2017 contains more information on Valérie Clerc’s career. Contact details of all SAMS employees can be found on our website under «Portrait».

Press release (German): Valérie Clerc wird Generalsekretärin der SAMW PDF

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Strengthening biomedical research for the benefit of European citizens

Europe is facing a number of major healthcare challenges, particularly as a result of an ageing population. To master these challenges, joint research activites in biomedical and clinical research across the European Union are needed. In a recent position paper, FEAM postulates five key points to overcome current gaps. As a member of FEAM, the SAMS supports these efforts.

The Federation of European Academies of Medicine (FEAM) and the Alliance for Biomedical Research in Europe have united to strengthen biomedical research in Europe. In their recently published position paper they call upon the EU, that the support of biomedical research has to be a key priority for the next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. To learn more, download the position paper or visit the FEAM website.

Strengthening biomedical research for the benefit of European citizens PDF

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Weighing of interests for proposed animal experiments

Researchers submitting an application to conduct an animal experiment in Switzerland are required to consider ethical as well as scientific aspects. The ethical evaluation takes the form of a «weighing of interests». A new guidance for applicants should help to carry out the procedure correctly.

The brochure (Englisch/French/German) explains the principle of the weighing of interests for proposed animal experiments and contains a step-by-step guide. Printed copies are available free of charge – also in bulk – from:

Weighing of interests for proposed animal experiments – Guidance for applicants PDF

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Steps #2: Getting to know the SPHN Partners

SAMS highlights specific topics concerning the Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) in its newsletter «Steps». The current issue presents relevant partners and their activities.

Steps #2 is dedicated to the actors who play – besides universities and university hospitals – a central role in the research in personalized health in Switzerland. Find out who is integrated into the SPHN initiative and learn about their role. Find more publications on the SPHN website.

SPHN Newsletter «Steps #2»: SPHN Partners PDF

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Swiss Personalized Health Network: First call for proposals

The Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) is launching its first call for proposals aimed at the development of a national interoperable research infrastructure ecosystem for competitive personalized health research. The submission deadline is on Friday, September 15, 2017.

In order to make the best use of the available resources, the SPHN call for proposals is coordinated with the ETH-Domain Strategic Focus Area in Personalized Health and Related Technologies. For further information see the «SPHN Call for Proposals 2017» or visit the SPHN-Website.

SPHN Call for Proposals 2017 PDF

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Swiss Personalized Health Network: The website is online

The Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) is a national initiative designed to promote the development of personalized medicine and personalized health in Switzerland. The SAMS heads the implementation of the Initiative on behalf of the Federal Government. Details on the initiative can be found on the newly launched website.

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SAMS Annual Report 2016 is available

Learn more about SAMS activities in the latest annual report.

The Annual Report is available in German (download below) or French. You can order a printed copy in the menu 'publications'.

SAMW Jahresbericht 2016 PDF



Factsheet on the Swiss Personalized Health Network

The Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) is a national initiative designed
to promote the development of personalized medicine and personalized health in Switzerland. SPHN will lay the foundations needed to facilitate research projects in this area such as a system for a nationwide exchange of health-related data. Download 'SPHN at a Glance' to learn more about the initiative.

The Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences was mandated by the State Secretariat for Education, Research, and Innovation (SERI) to develop the SPHN. All relevant documents concerning the initiative are published on our website.

Factsheet: SPHN at a Glance PDF

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Käthe Zingg-Schwichtenberg Fund

The 2017 call for proposals «Impact of digitalization on the patients – health professionals relationship» is open. Ethical analyses as well as projects covering sociological and/or communicative aspects can be submitted. A total of CHF 250'000.– is available for the 2017 call.

Proposals can be submitted in English, French or German. All applications must be registered online. The submission deadline is Wednesday May 31, 2017. For more information on the submission procedure, please refer to the call paper 2017.

Call 2017 (in German) PDF

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Differences of sex development: Opinion of the Central Ethics Committee

In 2016, two articles were published in the «Schweizerische Ärztezeitung» concerning medical interventions relating to sex assignment. The Central Ethical Commitee (CEC) of SAMS was called on to ensure, by issuing ethical recommendations, that no unnecessary medical or surgical treatments are carried out during infancy or childhood.

In the present situation, the CEC does not consider it appropriate to issue comprehensive medical-ethical guidelines on this topic. However, after consulting both the Swiss Medical Association and the Federal Office of Justice and seeking the views of experts, it offers the following recommendations.

«Differences of sex development»: Opinion of the Central Ethics Committee of the SAMS / 16.12.2016 PDF

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Daniel Scheidegger is the incoming president of SAMS

Daniel Scheidegger, from Basel, will assume presidency of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences on 1 November 2016. He has been a member of the Academy since 2005 and has been involved in numerous projects. Daniel Scheidegger is taking over from Peter Meier-Abt, who has been President since May 2011.

From 1988 to 2013, he was the Head of the Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care at the University Hospital of Basel and a Professor of Anaesthesia and Resuscitation at the University of Basel. He is well-known among many players in the healthcare system because of his involvement in national committees such as Member and President of the specialist body for highly specialised medicine of the CMPH or Member of the Swiss Science and Innovation Council SSIC. The press release contains further information about his professional background.

Press release: Daniel Scheidegger is the incoming president of SAMS (26.10.2016) PDF

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Improve the reproducibility of biomedical research

Togther with 45 members of the InterAcademy Partnership for Health the SAMS commits to taking action to address issues of reproducibility in a Statement: «A Call to Action to Improve the Reproducibility of Biomedical Research».

The Statement outlines the causes of irreproducible results and recognises the leading role the academies can play in addressing this challenge in their own countries and worldwide.

A call for action: Reproducibility of biomedical research PDF

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Position paper: «Culture of research and support for young scientists in medicine»

In a new position paper the SAMS suggests specific measures to improve the culture of research and to support young scientists in medicine. The position paper is available to download in German or French, the English version is coming soon.

Click below to download the position paper and to learn more about the SAMS’ efforts to improve the scientific culture and the situation of young scientists in medicine.

Position Paper: Culture of research and support for young scientists in medicine PDF

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The new SAMS website is online

Technological advances are not only changing healthcare, they are also influencing the way we communicate: online, on mobile devices – anywhere, any time. The SAMS is keeping up with the times and has therefore updated its website and given itself a completely new look.

The new SAMS logo takes the shape of a strong word mark featuring two acronyms, which work for all of Switzerland's national languages: SAMW/ASSM. The website's design echoes the new logo and is laid out so that all area can also be accessed easily on mobile devices. We value your feedback and welcome any comments. Please let us know if anything is missing or not right so we can fix it as quickly as possible.



Newsletter about the Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN)

The first steps to set up the Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN) are complete. The SAMS has written about this in its newsletter «Steps #1».

The latest issue contains information about the schedule and people who are involved in the various SPHN committees.

SPHN Newsletter «Steps #1» PDF

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Robert Bing Prize awarded to Caroline Pot and Sebastian Jessberger

Every two years, the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS) awards the Robert Bing Prize for outstanding achievements in the field of neurological sciences. This year, the prize, which is endowed with prize money of CHF 60,000, was shared equally between Caroline Pot of the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and Sebastian Jessberger of the University of Zurich.

The prize is awarded from the fund established by the Basel neurologist Robert Bing (1878–1956). In accordance with the stipulations of the founder’s will, the prize is awarded to scientists who have done outstanding work in the fields of recognition, treatment and cure of neurological diseases. This year’s prize honours achievements in both basic and clinical research. The press release issued on 6 June 2016 contains information about the research work carried out by the two prizewinners.

Robert Bing Prize for young researchers in neurosciences goes to Caroline Pot and Sebastian Jessberger PDF

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Information on healthcare: top 10 tips for using the Cochrane Library

What kinds of breathing exercising help children with asthma? How should I get my cruciate ligament tear treated? You can find answers to these sorts of questions in the Cochrane Library. The international Cochrane network systematically publishes reviews, summarising healthcare research findings.

So that not only healthcare professionals but also those outside the profession can navigate the Cochrane Library as quickly as possible, there is a new leaflet available featuring the «top 10 tips» for using the library and straightforward explanations of the database's layout.

Cochrane Library: top ten tips (ENG) PDF

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Research initiative: Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN)

Thanks to progress in the fields of life sciences and information technology (IT), we now have a huge amount of health-related data at our disposal. The Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS) tackles the question of how these data can be used in a meaningful manner for research and innovation.

The course is currently being set for the establishment of the Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN), a national research initiative proposed in 2014 by researchers at the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETHs) and at various universities and university hospitals. The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) took up this initiative and commissioned the SAMS to take on a fundamental role in the planning and implementation process.
The SAMS website documents past work and provides an ongoing overview of the progress so far.

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lic. phil. Franziska Egli