The NCCR TransCure network

The National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) TransCure was established by Matthias A. Hediger (Nephrology and Hypertension) in 2010, and was led from 2015 to its end in October 2022 by Hugues Abriel (Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine) as director and Jean-Louis Reymond (Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry) as deputy director. Leading house was the University of Bern. 

The NCCR TransCure was an interdisciplinary research network of on average 15 research groups affiliated to the Universities of Bern, Zurich, Lausanne and Basel. The main focus of this network is membrane transporter and ion channel research. Beside fostering high quality science, the NCCR TransCure is also active in the fields of education, gender equality, technology transfer and communication.

The NCCR TransCure belonged to the third series of  NCCRs funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). NCCRs goal is to promote research projects in areas of vital strategic importance that benefit Swiss economy, society and public health.

Membrane transport and human diseases

Many major human diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, osteoporosis, neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders are related to or are based on the dysfunction of membrane transporters and channels.

Transporters are integral membrane proteins that move important substances such as nutrients, drugs and other substrates across cellular membranes. Because of their importance as cellular gatekeepers, a deep understanding of their structure, functioning and role in diseases if of fundamental significance for advances in basic research and for the development of novel therapeutic drugs. 

The research of the NCCR TransCure was characterized by a unique combination of three different scientific disciplines, namely biology/physiology, structural biology and chemistry (referred to as “TransCure Trias”). Scientists from these disciplines teamed up in multidisciplinary projects that range from fundamental to early stage drug discovery research.