A wide-angle look at the research world

On 1 November 2021, the NCCR TransCure started its 12th and last year of activity. It will be a special year dedicated to the closing of many long-term projects but also to the organisation of exciting final events. We are grateful for all the support provided over the years by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the University of Bern, as well as for the tireless work of our researchers.

The articles of this (second to last!) issue of the NCCR TransCure newsletter invite the reader to dwell on some wide-ranging aspects of our scientific environment – like when you choose a wide-angle lens on your camera to see more of a scene. The interview with Hans Widmer (Novartis) takes us beyond the traditional concept of innovation, illustrating the meaning of open innovation and discussing the “shades of grey” of openness in private and academic research. In the “How it works” article, we discover the potential of nanopore-based DNA sequencing,a rather easy-to-handle technology widely used worldwide and, for example, exploited to sequence the genome of the different variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Finally, we look behind the scenes of the daily business of grants and programmes management, discovering how these (and other) administrative tasks characterise an entirely new job sector – the so-called “Third Space” – that is becoming increasingly attractive for academics.

The NCCR TransCure, thanks to its interdisciplinary character, is an excellent place to perform research activities with a wide-angled mind-set. This becomes clear by looking at the most recent research results (see “Publication highlights”) and by reading about our Fellows and Alumni in the “Meet the Fellows” section. If you wish to learn more about the projects of female researchers working in NCCRs, we recommend the videos of the #NCCRWomen campaign, now counting more than 100 short portraits of women working in the 22 currently active NCCR programmes.

Despite it being winter, we would like to pre-announce two major NCCR TransCure events taking place in summer 2022 in Bern. We look forward to meeting you on the occasion of the NCCR TransCure Final Conference on 17-19 August 2022 or along the Aare river, visiting the public exhibition “Vitaport – what our body transports”, open from August to October 2022. Follow us through our website, Twitter and LinkedIn channels so as not to miss any updates.

We wish all our readers a pleasant holiday season and a brilliant new year!

Hugues Abriel, NCCR TransCure Director
Valentina Rossetti, NCCR TransCure Scientific Officer