Patrick Aebischer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Patrick Aebischer
Patrick Aebischer IMG 3894.jpg
Born 22 November 1954
Fribourg (Switzerland)
Nationality Swiss
Alma mater University of Geneva
Brown University
École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne
Known for President of the EPFL

Patrick Aebischer (born on 22 November 1954 in Fribourg, Switzerland) has been the president of the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) since 17 March 2000 (until 31 December 2016).[1] He is also a professor in neurosciences and head of the Neurodegenerative Disease Laboratory of the EPFL.



Patrick Aebischer was trained as an MD (1980) and a neuroscientist (Dr. Med., 1983) at the University of Geneva and University of Fribourg in Switzerland.

Academic career[edit]

From 1984 to 1992, he worked at Brown University in Providence (Rhode Island, United States), as Research Scientist, Assistant and then Associate Professor of Medical Sciences. In 1991, he became the chairman of the Section of Artificial Organs, Biomaterials and Cellular Technology of the Division of Biology and Medicine of Brown University.

In autumn 1992, he returned to Switzerland as a professor and director of the Surgical Research Division and Gene Therapy Center at the University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV) in Lausanne.

In 1999, Patrick Aebischer was nominated President of the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, by the Swiss Federal Council. He took office as President on March 2000 and was reelected to this position in 2004 and 2008. He has decided to leave this position at the end of 2016.[2]

His current research focuses on the development of cell and gene transfer approaches for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

Activities at the EPFL[edit]

Since his arrival as president of the EPFL, Patrick Aebischer has made the following changes to EPFL:

  • Integration of the "hard science" sections (mathematics, physics, chemistry) from the neighbouring University of Lausanne;
  • Restructuring of the university into five Schools, each managing its own budget;
  • Creation of the School of Life Sciences
  • Creation of a Doctoral School
  • Creation of a College for Management of Technology and Finance
  • Development of an "Innovation Square" on the campus to favour industry partnerships;[3]
  • Development of the campus by initiating the construction of the Rolex Learning Center (2010),[4] lodging for students (2010 and 2013), a hotel for academic guests (2010) and a Conference center[5] (2013).

In companies[edit]

Patrick Aebischer is a founder of three start-ups: CytoTherapeutics Inc. (1989), Modex Therapeutics Inc. (1996) and Amazentis SA (2007). He sits at the boards of Nestle Health Science (since 2011) and Lonza Group (since 2008).


The parents of Patrick Aebischer are artists Emile Aebischer, known as Yoki, and Joan, born O'Boyle. He is married and the father of two children.


  • Fellowship of the Swiss National Science Foundation (1984-1986)
  • Kolff award (Young investigator award of the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs), New York, 1987.
  • Robert Bing award of the Swiss academy of Medicine (1994).
  • Pfizer Foundation award for clinical neurosciences (1997).
  • Fellow of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (since 1998).
  • Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering Sciences (since 2000).
  • Fellow of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (SATW) (since 2009).

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]