Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute

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The entrance to the travel medicine of the Swiss TPH. The main building, with offices, research labs and the lecture hall, is located behind.

The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute or Swiss TPH, (formerly known as the Swiss Tropical Institute) was founded in 1943 as through the initiative of Professor Rudolf Geigy. He recognised the need to combine sound interdisciplinary research within the context of the social and cultural conditions of an endemic area with training and service provision. He felt that this approach would generate new evidence as well as contribute to health development. Since then, this goal remains the mandate of the Swiss TPH - to contribute to the improvement of the health of populations internationally and nationally through excellence in research, services, and teaching and training with a special focus on developing countries.

The Swiss TPH consists of five departments working in various disciplines of International Public Health. In June 2009, the Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine of the University of Basel was integrated into the Swiss Tropical Institute, and in January 2010 the Swiss Tropical Institute changed its name to the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute.

The Swiss TPH is an Associated Institute of the University of Basel, and as a public organization, is partially supported by the Swiss Federal Council and the Canton of Basel-Stadt. The greater part of its funding comes from competitively acquired project funds and the earnings of its service departments: Medical Services, Medicines Research and the Swiss Centre for International Health.


The Institute has research programs in epidemiology and public health[1] as well as medical parasitology[2] covering the fields of molecular parasitology and molecular epidemiology, molecular diagnostics, molecular immunology, parasite chemotherapy, biostatistics and epidemiology, health systems research, human & animal health, ecosystem health and social sciences. One particular research focus of the institute is the biology of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.


The service departments of the Swiss TPH address travel medicine and drug research, as well as health system development. The Medical Services [3] department offers clinical and diagnostic services for tropical medicine, travel advice, and vaccinations for travelers to tropical countries. The Swiss Centre for International Health[4] offers expertise in the field of international health system development both within Switzerland and globally. The Medicines Research department[5] contributes to bridging the 'translational gaps' in the R&D-process for drugs, vaccines and public health interventions between promising research outcomes and their validation and implementation for impact in resource limited economies.

Teaching and Training[edit]

All departments of the Swiss TPH take part, in Teaching and Training in various forms. As an associated institute of the University of Basel, numerous Swiss TPH staff have teaching obligations at the University. The Institute is involved in the BSc studies in biology and also responsible for the newly established PhD programmes. The Institute additionally offers an MSc in Infection Biology and Epidemiology.

In postgraduate teaching and training, and continuous education the Swiss TPH offers several short courses for health specialists from Europe and countries with resource constraints. These courses are accredited by the University of Basel. In cooperation with partner institutes in Europe and overseas the institute offers a Master of Advanced Studies in International Health, accredited by the OAQ (Center of Accreditation and Quality Assurance of the Swiss Universities).

The Swiss TPH also offers several tailored courses for participants with specific backgrounds (medical doctors, pharmacists, lab technicians), the “General Tropical Course“ (in German language), as well as courses within the curriculum of the Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+).

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