Making changes Publikationsdatum08.06.2020

New directorship for the NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials


The National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) Bio-Inspired Materials director, Professor Christoph Weder (Adolphe Merkle Institute), and his deputy, Professor Curzio Rüegg (Department of Oncology, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Fribourg) have stepped down after six years at the helm. Professor Ullrich Steiner (Adolphe Merkle Institute) has taken over as NCCR director, while Professor Esther Amstad (EPFL) has accepted to be the new deputy director.

It was ten years ago that Professor Weder and his colleagues began planning for the NCCR. The departure of the two outgoing directors comes as the Center has precisely reached the halfway point of its 12-year span. They both considered that it was an appropriate moment for a change at the top, and to inject some fresh blood. 

“It was an absolute privilege for us to lead an NCCR, and the NCCR Bio-inspired Materials in particular, and we are grateful to have been given this opportunity,” said Weder, who is also director of the Adolphe Merkle Institute.

“Our NCCR has created a great sense of community and contributed significantly to bringing together researchers with diverse backgrounds and expertises, locally and nationally. Its strengthening of the interface between materials and life sciences is, in our opinion, a particularly beneficial outcome,” added Rüegg.

Professors Steiner and Amstad wished to thank the outgoing directorship.

“Professors Weder and Rüegg were instrumental in attracting the first NCCR to the University of Fribourg, turning it into one of the most successful operations nationwide, as witnessed by the reviews of the Swiss National Science Foundation,” they said. 

Steiner and Amstad will now be notably responsible for stewarding in the next, and final, four-year phase of the NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials, which will begin in 2022.