Switzerland Bern

University of Bern

Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine

Brief Overview

The Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) at the University of Bern provides under- and post-graduate education, aiming to advance and disseminate knowledge of health and disease through rigorous, interdisciplinary academic research relevant to epidemiology and public health.

The paediatric respiratory research group at ISPM focuses on the epidemiology of asthma, cough, primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) and other respiratory problems in children. It hosts several international and regional population-based and clinical research studies and has contributed to the body of research on time trends of childhood wheeze, on phenotype definition and prediction modelling in asthma and on PCD epidemiology.

Research Areas

Asthma\Cough\Cystic fibrosis\Epidemiology\Paediatrics

Host center eligibility

Global fellowships (return phase only)\ European fellowships

Research infrastructure/facilities

The ISPM Bern hosts a large clinical trial unit including a Paediatric hub. It has an excellent library for help with literature searches and procuration of manuscripts; free access to a range of electronic databases and journals, free inter-library loans. Its excellent IT unit provides servers, network support and user support by computer scientists. Software for statistical analyses, reference management and other research-related tasks is also provided. Personal computers with printers and other baseline office equipment are provided together with free access to photocopier, clerical material, mailing and telephone calls and access to seminar and conference rooms.

Research funding/Resources

The University of Bern is one of the worldwide top 200 Universities, receiving >130M € in research grants in 2018, with ISPM receiving >10M €.

The ISPM Bern hosts several national and regional Paediatric Disease Registries on respiratory and other paediatric diseases. The paediatric respiratory research group hosts the Leicester population-based respiratory cohorts, the international PCD cohort, the Swiss paediatric airway cohort and the database of the Swiss Neonatal Screening for CF. Its research activities are funded by national (Swiss National Science Foundation) and European competitive research grants. It collaborates closely with clinicians and researchers in Switzerland and abroad.

Links to non-academic sector

The ISPM Swiss Paediatric registry centre is part of the SwissPedNet, the national association of paediatric trials, which collaborates with the pharmaceutic industry for specific projects.

The ISPM Bern collaborates closely with charities, NGOs, and public agencies, such as the Swiss Federal Statistical Office and the Swiss Federal Office of Health. ISPM Bern has also established a working group for marketing to develop an organized strategy to securing these activities.

Experience hosting international researchers, career development & training programmes, outreach activities

ISPM Bern has extensive experience in collaborating with and hosting international researchers and is a multinational environment with researchers from 23 nationalities.

ISPM Bern provides a wide range of postgraduate education to train students and other researchers to become excellent public health researchers and to work as public health specialists. It also holds weekly research meetings and monthly seminars on public health topics presented by national and international experts. It offers well-defined mentorship programs early in the career of promising scientists to maximize success in fellowship applications and career development opportunities in partnership with the broader public sector. ISPM Bern has also established the PROMETHEUS group for intermediate career scientists, a space to foster collaboration and development.

HR Excellence in Research – EU award