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Our Cooperation with D-BSSE of ETH Zürich

Funding of Prof. Dr. Sai Reddy's chair at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering in Basel

Prof. Dr. Sai T. Reddy (*1980) has gained worldwide recognition with his scientific work and publications about the development of nanoparticles in new vaccines. He is regarded as one of the co-founders of system immunology research. He will continue to work on nanoparticle vaccines and the development of new therapeutic antibodies at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering and will constitute a crucial reinforcement to the field of medicine-oriented engineering sciences. His research group is focused on the interface of systems immunology and biomolecular engineering, which exploits high-throughput techniques such as bioinformatics, proteomics, and directed evolution-protein engineering to study the immune system in a quantitative manner. This research approach uses such technologies for the engineering of next generation vaccines and immunotherapeutics. Additionally fundamental questions related to pathogen-host immune responses are explored using a systems-based approach. Prof. Dr. Sai Reddy's chair is funded by the Misrock Foundation.

News Reports

March 2017, Zürich

ETH-Zürich Foundation


Reporting Science & Technology For Health

Sai Reddy’s professorship was only made possible through the generous funding by the Foundation of S. Leslie Misrock, starting in 2010. Last year, Misrock Foundation increased its initial commitment for the second time. Since he started at ETH Zurich, Professor Sai Reddy achieved a large number of outstanding and highly recognized publications, presented his studies at more than 30 talks and applied for four patents. His contributions attracted keen interest beyond the academic community, leading to cooperation with several companies, such as Roche, Novartis, NBE Therapeutics, UCB-Celltech and Specifica. These collaborations with the industry indicate the relevance of his work to biotechnological drug development. Moreover, he is also very active in the wider Swiss and international scientific environment, serving on various committees and leading the organisation of the first conference on “Systems Biology of Adaptive Immunity”, to be held this spring in Ascona. In view of this track record, he was able to attract substantial third-party funding amounting to over 5 Mio. CH F since 2012.

Read the full report in english (PDF; 3.3 MB) >

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28 November 2016, Zürich

ETH-Zürich Foundation


Misrock Foundation continues funding of ETH-professorship for Biomolecular Engineering

The Foundation of S. Leslie Misrock supports Sai Reddy’s professorship at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering in Basel since 2010 and recently increased its initial commitment for the second time. Reddy’s professorship was only made possible through the generous funding by Misrock Foundation.

For Jean-Marc Joerin, President of Misrock-Foundation, the partnership between Misrock, ETH Zurich and ETH Zurich Foundation has been a win-win situation from the start: “I’m delighted that Professor Sai Reddy, whose professorship is funded by the Misrock Foundation, is so successful. Our donation is bearing fruit. Sai Reddy and his research team are a gain not only for the ETH Department of Biosystems in Basel, but also for us.”

Read the full ETH news report in english (website of ETH Foundation Zürich) >

Ganze ETH-Mitteilung in Deutsch (Website der ETH Foundation Zürich) >

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26 May 2016, Zürich

ETH Zürich D-BSSE News Report


Prof. Sai Reddy receives Grand Challenges Explorations grant

Sai Reddy from the ETH Zurich Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering receives the prestigious Grand Challenges Explorations grant for innovative research in global health and development.

Sai Reddy is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In collaboration with Prof. Bruno Correia of EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) Sai Reddy will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled “Measurement of Somatic Hypermutation Induced by C3d Adjuvants”. As Sai Reddy explains more precisely: “The goal of this project is to use advanced methods of analysing immune responses to characterise a molecular vaccine adjuvant that targets immune cell receptors. Prof. Correia will work closely with my group to produce and engineer our molecular vaccine adjuvants so that they stimulate immune responses with greater efficiency.”

Read the full news report in english (D-BSSE website) >

Read announcement on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation website >

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February 2016, Zürich

Reporting Science & Technology for Health


«The generous donation from the Misrock Foundation allowed me to establish a new laboratory in Basel and to focus entirely on research and education. My group and I have now taken a major step forward in our efforts to investigate systems and synthetic immunology. Our research has led to several academic publications, collaborations with industry, and a patent application.»

Prof. Dr. Sai Reddy,
supported by Misrock Foundation

Sai Reddy was awarded the ERC Grant

Professor Sai Reddy is one of seven researchers from ETH Zurich who received the prestigious Starting Grant of the European Research Council ERC in 2015. Europe’s main funding pot supports talented young researches with a CHF 1.5 million-grant, enabling them to make significant advances in their academic careers.

Good prospect for a tenure procedure

Professor Sai Reddy has been reappointed as assistant professor from 1 February 2016 for another three years. This reappointment paves the way for the tenure procedure. In the coming two years, the tenure procedure of Professor Reddy will be introduced, thus enabling the transformation of the assistant professorship into an associate professorship in 2017 or 2018.

Read the full report – text in English (PDF; 6.8 MB) >

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14 December 2015, Zürich

ETH-Press Release


European Research Council (ERC) awards grant to Sai Reddy

As one of 7 researchers from ETH Zurich Professor Sai Reddy is to receive an ERC Starting Grant. The European Research Council (ERC) awards these grants to promote independent young scientists of any nationality, with two to seven years of experience following completion of their doctorate and who have highly promising scientific careers. The decisive criterion for awarding the grant is the submission of an outstanding research project undertaken at a public or private research organisation in an EU member state or an associated country. Up to CHF 1.5 million in funding is awarded over five years.

How exactly the body reacts with antibody production to vaccinations is of central importance for vaccine efficacy and immunodiagnostics. However, this antibody response is still not known in detail. In his ERC project, Sai Reddy, Assistant Professor of Biomolecular Engineering, is using the methods of high-throughput DNA sequencing and computational biology in order to profile the molecular network of antibody responses. Building on this, Reddy hopes to improve the rational design of vaccines and develop new bioinformatics tools for immunodiagnostics.

Read the full ETH press release in English (PDF; 41 KB) >
Ganze ETH-Medienmitteilung in Deutsch (PDF; 41 KB) >

Online News ETH Foundation Zürich in English (ETH website) >
Online Bericht der ETH Foundation Zürich in Deutsch (ETH Website) >

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March 2015, Zürich

Reporting Science & Technology for Health


The Laboratory for Systems and Synthetic Immunology and the professorship of Sai Reddy is made possible by the generous endowment of the S. Leslie Misrock Foundation.

Professor Reddy’s group conducts research in the emerging fields of systems and synthetic immunology, which is at the intersection of genomics, molecular biotechnology, and immunology. Systems immunology is focused on gaining a more comprehensive and quantitative understanding of the immune response. This includes the use of high-throughput technologies such as next-generation DNA sequencing, bioinformatics, and proteomics. Synthetic immunology uses molecular and cellular engineering methods to reprogram immune cells and subsequently control immune response. The team’s core mission is to use immunogenomics and immune cell reprogramming for applications in biotechnology, vaccination, and cellular immunotherapy.

Within only two years after set-up, Reddy’s group today counts 13 staff members, including five postdoctoral researchers, three PhD students, three students and one staff member. The group has made substantial gains in developing and building the core technology related to the next-generation sequencing and bioinformatic analysis of antibodies. This technology is applied for therapeutic antibody discovery, characterization of immune responses following vaccination, and studying basic immunobiology. Furthermore, Reddy’s group has recently established a new focus area of research related to engineering immune cells for applications in biotechnology and immunotherapy.

Read the report – text in English (PDF; 1.4 MB) >

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Dezember 2014, Zürich

Mit vereinten Kräften gegen HIV


Virologen der Universität, Infektiologen des Universitätsspitals und Biologen der ETH Zürich, sie alle haben ein gemeinsames Ziel: die Antwort des Immunsystems gegen HIV besser verstehen. Dabei legen sie ihren Fokus auf die Abwehr mit Antikörpern.

In einer aktuellen Studie untersucht Annette Oxenius, Professorin für Mikrobiologie an der ETH Zürich, gemeinsam mit anderen Forschungsgruppen die Antikörperantwort des Immunsystems bei chronischen Virusinfektionen. Die Fragestellung wird sowohl bei Patienten mit einer HIV-Infektion, als auch im experimentellen Tiermodell untersucht. Das Projekt AntibodyX läuft seit gut einem Jahr. Alle beteiligten Forschergruppen werden ihren Puzzlestein zur interdisziplinären Studie beitragen. «Schon jetzt zeichnet sich ab, dass wir sehr voneinander profitieren können», zieht Oxenius eine erste Bilanz.

Sai Reddy entwickelt mit seinem Team neue Methoden, um die Evolution des Antikörperrepertoires mittels der so genannten Next-Generation-Sequenzierung erforschen zu können.

Read the news report – text in German (PDF; 791 KB) >

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April 2014, Zürich

Reporting Science & Technology for Health

«The generous donation of the Misrock Foundation has enabled me to build a research group at the interface of bioengineering and immunology. We have rapidly expanded our group and developed our goals towards applications in biotechnology, vaccines, and immunotherapy. For example, we have ongoing collaborations with a local Basel biotech company (NBE Therapeutics) for the discovery of cancer-specific antibody drug candidates.»

Prof. Dr. Sai Reddy,
supported by Misrock Foundation

Professor Reddy’s group conducts research in the emerging fields of systems and synthetic immunology, which is at the intersection of genomics, molecular biotechnology, and immunology. Systems immunology is focused on gaining a more comprehensive and quantitative understanding of the immune response. This includes the use of high-throughput technologies such as next generation DNA sequencing, bioinformatics, and proteomics. Synthetic immunology consists of using molecular and cellular engineering methods to reprogram immune cells and subsequently control immune response.

The team’s core mission is to use immunogenomics and immune cell reprogramming for applications in biotechnology, vaccination, and cellular immunotherapy.Within only two years after set-up, Reddy’s group today counts 16 staff members, including six postdoctoral researchers, three PhD students, four students and two administrative and technical support staff.

The group has made substantial gains in developing and building the core technology related to the next-generation sequencing and bioinformatic analysis of antibodies. This technology has applications spanning from therapeutic antibody discovery to characterization of immune responses following vaccination to studying basic immunobiology. Furthermore, Reddy’s group has recently established a new focus area of research related to engineering immune cells for applications in biotechnology and immunotherapy.

Read the report (PDF; 2.1 MB) >

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November 16, 2013, Zürich

Sai Reddy erhält Goldene Eule des VSETH

Die Goldene Eule ist ein Sympathiepreis der Studierenden an die Dozierenden der ETH Zürich. Er wird jährlich vom Verband der Studierenden an der ETH Zürich (VSETH) besonders engagierten Lehrpersonen für deren exzellente Lehre verliehen. Pro Departement wird jeweils eine Lehrperson ausgezeichnet.

Die Studierenden können alle Lehrpersonen bewerten, bei denen sie eine Vorlesung besucht haben. Dabei zählen weder Titel, Herkunft, Ausbildung noch Forschungsqualität, sondern einzig Qualität und Einsatz der Dozierenden für die Lehre. Basierend auf diesen Bewertungen bestimmen die Fachvereine die Preisträger. Dabei berücksichtigen sie unter anderem die von der Lehrkraft verwendeten Unterrichtsmaterialien, ihr Engagement ausserhalb der Lehrveranstaltung und die Qualität der Studierendenbetreuung.

Read the report (PDF; 594 KB) >

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May 2013, Zürich

Report Misrock Foundation – Fruits of your commitment

Report on the highlights from Professor Dr. Sai Reddy's group, communication activities, research lighthouse for Basel and financials...

Read the report (PDF; 155 KB) >

Visit website of D-BSSE (ETH website) >

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November 20, 2012, Zürich

Introductory Lecture by Sai Reddy

Development of Next Generation Immunotherapeutics by Systems Immunology

Prof. Dr. Sai Reddy gives a lecture on immunotherapy past and present as well as future research, immune logic, antibody discovery by bioinformatics, immuno-proteomics and molecular profiling.

Website of the Laboratory for Systems and Synthetic Immunology (ETH website) >

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September 2012, Globe-Issue No. 3

Donations – Giving a boost

Thanks to donations from private donors, ETH Zurich has been able to set up various new professorships very quickly in recent years. One topic that keeps arising as a result of these contributions is the university’s research freedom.

...One example of this is the start-up funding of the Biomolecular Engineering Chairat the Department of Biosystems Science (D-BSSE) in Basel by the foundation of S. Leslie Misrock, who passed away in 2001. This chemist and patent attorney from New York was so impressed by the research location on the elbow of the Rhine that he established his foundation therein 1981. It supports research in molecular biology, biotechnology and similar fields... (Roland Baumann, Globe-Issue No. 3)

Read the entire article in Globe No 3, 2012 (PDF; 2.1 MB) >

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December 2, 2011, Zürich

Sai Reddy's chair is funded by the Misrock Foundation

Prof. Dr. Sai T. Reddy (*1980), formerly Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder, USA, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Biomolecular Engineering. With his scientific work and publications about the development of nanoparticles in new vaccines, Sai Reddy has gained worldwide recognition. He is regarded as one of the co-founders of system immunology research. He will continue to work on nanoparticle vaccines and the development of new therapeutic antibodies at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering and will constitute a crucial reinforcement to the field of medicine-oriented engineering sciences...

Read the ETH-news release (ETH website) >

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March 23, 2011, Basel

Vernetzung im Dienste der Gesundheit

Dass der ETH-Präsident zum Lokaltermin der ETH Zürich ausgerechnet nach Basel einlud, machte offenbar neugierig. Jedenfalls war der Hörsaal des ETH- Departements «Biosystems Science and Engineering» (D-BSSE) in Basel im März 2011 zum Bersten voll. In Basel gelinge die Vernetzung zwischen Life-Science-Unternehmen, Spitälern und Hochschulen im Dienste der Gesundheit, waren sich die Referenten aus der ETH, der Industrie und der Basler Regierung einig. Dazu habe auch die ETH Zürich mit der Gründung ihres Basler Departements vor wenigen Jahren beigetragen. Dort forschen Ingenieure und Naturwissenschaftler in Systembiologie, Bio-Engineering und Computer-Biologie Hand in Hand und dank der Förderung der Basler Misrock-Stiftung bald auch ein zusätzlicher Professor im Bereich «Biomolecular Engineering»...

Read the annual report – text in German (PDF; 504 KB) >

Read ETH local news – text in German (PDF; 287 KB) >

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March 23, 2011, Basel

Amerikaner stiftet in Basel eine Professur

Die 1981 gegründete Misrock Foundation fördert die Biotechnologie

Den Forschungsplatz Basel wollte S. Leslie Misrock mit einer Stiftung bedenken. Jetzt finanziert diese eine Professur am Basler ETH-Departement für Biosysteme. Wenn am heutigen Mittwoch der in Basel aufgewachsene ETH-Präsident Ralph Eichler offiziell das Basler ETHDepartement für Biosysteme zu einem Lokaltermin besucht, dann wird er Mitarbeitende und Gäste in einem neu nach S. Leslie Misrock benannten Hörsaal begrüssen. Mit dem Namenszug wird die grosszügige Spende eines seit zehn Jahren verstorbenen Amerikaners und Freundes von Basel verdankt, mit der eine neue Professur für Biomolekulares Engineering errichtet werden kann... (Martin Hicklin, baz)

Read the news article – text in German (PDF; 864 KB) >

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