Patrick Aebischer

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Patrick Aebischer
Patrick Aebischer IMG 3894.jpg
Born (1954-11-22) 22 November 1954 (age 62)
Fribourg (Switzerland)
Nationality Swiss
Alma mater University of Geneva
Brown University
École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne
Known for President of the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (2000-2016)

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

Biography[edit]

Education[edit]

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] Since 1 January 2017, the president of the EPFL is Martin Vetterli.[3]

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

Presidency of the EPFL[edit]

Patrick Aebischer was president of the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne between 2000 and 2016.

Since his arrival as president of the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne in 2000, Patrick Aebischer has made the following changes to the university:

  • Integration of the "hard science" sections (mathematics, physics, chemistry) from the neighbouring University of Lausanne;
  • Reorganisation of the university into five faculties ('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;[4] (alter integrated in the Swiss Innovation Park)
  • Development of the campus by initiating the construction of the Rolex Learning Center (2010),[5] lodging for students (2010 and 2013), a hotel for academic guests (2010) and the Swiss Tech Convention Center[6] (2013).
Presidency of Patrick Aebischer in numbers[7]
École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne 2000 2015
Number of bachelor and master students 4'899 10'124
Doctoral students 702 2'077
Post-doctoral researchers 100 825
Professors 180 380
Start-ups founded in five years 52 (2000-2004) 81 (2011-2015)
Start-ups funding in five years 100 millions (2000-2004) 700 millions (2011-2015)


Aebischer was influenced and inspired by the "American model" of university management, which he describes as a meritocratic system that encourages innovation.[7] Some employees and observers criticised the mutation from a European model to an American model (with values such as money, competition and rankings).[8][9]

In companies[edit]

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

Personal[edit]

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

Honours[edit]

See also[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ (French) "Patrick Aebischer for president !", L'Hebdo, 16 March 2000.
  2. ^ http://www.admin.ch/aktuell/00089/index.html?lang=en&msg-id=56262
  3. ^ "Federal Council appoints Martin Vetterli President of EPFL", press release of the Swiss Federal Council, 24 February 2016.
  4. ^ http://www.business-leader.ch/actualites/84-formation/3987-linnovation-prend-ses-quartiers-a-lepfl.html
  5. ^ Architectural record: SANAA Designs Artificial Landscape, retrieved 11 March 2010
  6. ^ http://chantiers.epfl.ch/page-20470-en.html
  7. ^ a b (French) Daniel Sagara, "Il ne faut jamais faire de promesses inconsidérées", Horizons, magazine of the Swiss National Science Foundation and of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, number 109, pages 29-31, June 2016.
  8. ^ (French) Libero Zuppiroli [professor at the EPFL], La bulle universitaire. Faut-il poursuivre le rêve américain ? [The academic bubble. Should we pursue the American dream?], Éditions d'en bas, 2010, 176 pages (ISBN 978-2-8290-0385-1). The first part, entitled "Le parcours exemplaire du Swiss Institute of Technology Lausanne" [The exemplary path of the Swiss Institute of Technology in Lausanne], is about the change of the EPFL after the appointment of Patrick Aebischer as its presidency.
  9. ^ (French) Nicolas Dufour, "« Les universités cèdent à la logique de mode »", Le Temps, Tuesday 9 March 2010, page 14.

Bibliography[edit]

  • (French) Fabrice Delaye, Patrick Aebischer, Éditions Favre, 2016 192 pages (ISBN 978-2-8289-1484-4).
  • (French) Libero Zuppiroli, La bulle universitaire. Faut-il poursuivre le rêve américain ? [The academic bubble. Should we pursue the American dream?], Éditions d'en bas, 2010, 176 pages (ISBN 978-2-8290-0385-1). The first part, entitled "Le parcours exemplaire du Swiss Institute of Technology Lausanne" [The exemplary path of the Swiss Institute of Technology in Lausanne], is about the change of the EPFL after the appointment of Patrick Aebischer as president.

External links[edit]