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Life Science Zurich Young Scientist Network

Zurich Life Science Day 2012

The 3rd Zurich Life Science Daytook place on the 16th of February 2012. The event presented new insights in the life scientists job market, skills for career development and interesting careers paths.

The 3rd Zurich Life Science Daytook place on the 16th of February 2012. The event presented new insights in the life scientists job market, skills for career development and interesting careers paths.


Life Science Zurich Young Scientist Network (LSZYSN) invites you to an information and networking event where academic researchers meet life science companies, consulting firms and entrepreneurs.

The “3rd Zurich Life Science Day 2012” takes place on the 16th of February, 2012 at the Lichthof of the University of Zurich Irchel Campus, and will offer:

1. two parallel sessions on career development topics

2. a company exhibition

3. free CV checks

4. start-up event: venture ideas

5. several networking opportunities

Important Information

Registration costs are as follows (coffee breaks, cold lunch and apéro are included):

Bachelor/Master students: 20 CHF

Graduates / PhD students: 30 CHF

Postdocs: 40 CHF

ETH & UZH Alumni: 50 CHF

Young Professional 70 CHF

External / other: 100 CHF

Keynote Session


Keynote Lecture: Drug Discovery for patients in the developed and developing world

Prof. Paul L. Herrling, PhD, Chairman of the Board of the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases.

Paul Herrling is Chairman of the Board of the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases, a long-term endeavor to advance medical research in tropical infectious diseases, which historically have received little drug-research funding. He is also a consultant  to Novartis Pharma AG since January 2012 after his official retirement.

Prior to his current position, he was Head of Novartis Institutes for Developing World Medical Research (NIDWMR) in Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR), a position he assumed in February 2010.

Before that Paul Herrling was Head of Corporate Research in Novartis supervising 4 institutes, Head of Global Research of Novartis Pharma and a member of the Pharma Executive Committee (PEC). In this capacity, he directed the integration of the research organizations of Sandoz and Ciba-Geigy following their merger in 1996 to form Novartis.

Paul Herrling joined Sandoz Pharma in 1975 and held various positions in research at both Sandoz in Basel, Switzerland and Wander in Bern, Switzerland. In 1985, he became Head of the Sandoz Research Institute in Bern and Head of the Preclinical CNS Research Department at Sandoz Pharma in Basel. In 1992, he was made Head of Preclinical Research Basel for Sandoz Pharma and, in 1994, Head of Corporate Research.
He is also a Professor of Drug Discovery Science at the University of Basel, Switzerland. In addition to scientific editing activities, he serves on several boards, most notably Board of Trustees of The Scripps Research Institute, University Council of the University of Basel and the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi). Since January 2008 he is also the Vice-President of the ETH Board (Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology).

Paul Herrling obtained his Ph.D. in 1975 from the University of Zurich, Switzerland and was a post-doctorate fellow at the Neuropsychiatric Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the USA.

There is more to it than you think: Successful applications

Dr. Monika Clausen, Clausen & Netzwerkpartner

It looks so easy writing an application, but being a successful applicant and getting the wanted job is a different cup of coffee. During the impulse seminar we will shed light on recurring hurdles like strategic question, competence awareness and presentation and ways of applying. The input help you to define your self-marketing better.

Dr. Monika Clausen

Dr. Monika Clausen is engaged as a trainer and coach at universities, in the private industry and with individual clients. She has a PhD in biology, a Bachelor in Business Administration and training in leadership, adult education and solution focus coaching. Her professional experiences outside science include assignments as headhunter for highly educated individuals as well as working experience as expert and people manager.

The job interview - DOs and DON'Ts

Evelyne Kappel & Martin Ghisletti, ETH Career Center.

Thanks to a broad recruitment experience and a large number of interview trainings with students and doctoral students, the members of ETH Career Center do know not only the typical questions asked in first job interviews but they also know about the uncertainties of candidates. ETH Career Center presents a self-produced video, which shows a job interview situation with typical first questions, good and critical answers but also frequently observed uncertainties. On the basis of the video and additional comments they show you what you can expect in a first job interview, what stands behind the questions and which is the best way to demonstrate your skills.

Martin Ghisletti – Head ETH Career Center

Before joining ETH he worked in a variety of management positions in Human Resources. At Hewlett Packard Switzerland and AXA Winterthur he was HR Director and a member of the extended management board. Martin Ghisletti has a degree in business administration from the University of St. Gallen (HSG).

Martin Ghisletti has an extensive knowledge of the jobs market, and is familiar with what companies think and do as part of their university recruitment and general careers management activities. His valuable skills and experience have been built up on the basis of many performance reviews and interviews, and he is happy to share them with students and doctoral students, both in personal counseling and at events, helping them to plan their careers.

Evelyne Kappel – Career Advisor / Project Manager

Evelyne Kappel has been working at ETH since 2008. Up to the end of 2009 she worked on the ACAP (Academic and Career Advisory Program) pilot project with responsibility for careers advice and employer relations. Since then Evelyne Kappel has advised and supported more than 200 ETH students and doctoral students on starting their careers, and has organised several careers events for students and companies. Before joining ETH, Evelyne Kappel spent more than three years with an executive search company specialising in finding and placing proven management talent.

Evelyne Kappel has a wide knowledge of the Swiss jobs market and of the relevant requirements made of graduates. She is happy to share this knowledge, based on many years of counseling and recruitment experience, with students and doctoral students in order to advise them on starting their careers and to give them individual support.

Careers in Medical Communications

Dr. Ian Leighton, Scientific Director and Partner, nspm ltd, Meggen

Dr. Alister Smith, Medical Writer nspm ltd, Meggen

Medical communicators write, develop and edit documents, presentations and other material for educational and promotional purposes in the healthcare industry. This may include journal manuscripts, regulatory documents for government agencies, posters, brochures, slides and electronic materials.

nspm is a medical communications agency based in Meggen, Switzerland that offers project management and scientific content creation for company-sponsored symposia, meetings and other events.

Ian and Alister will present an introduction to the field of medical communications, an overview of nspm’s work and an impression of making the switch from academic science to medical communications.

Dr. Ian Leighton

Ian Leighton is the Scientific Director at nspm with over 10 years of experience at the company. After graduating in biochemistry from the University of Bristol (UK), Ian gained his Masters degree in genetics from the University of Newcastle (UK) and his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Dundee (UK). He moved to Switzerland and worked for five years in the field of scientific publishing before joining nspm in 2000. His main role is the organisation of scientific symposia, advisory board meetings and company events, alongside writing and editing articles both for peer-reviewed scientific journals and marketing materials. Ian’s calm personality, precision and reliability, coupled with his proven organisational and interpersonal skills, ensure timely delivery of high-quality services. In December 2006, Ian became one of four partners at nspm, underlining his long-term commitment to the company.

Dr. Alister Smith

Alister Smith joined nspm in early 2011, successfully making the leap from academic life to medical communications. Alister has put to good use his strong scientific background in the creation and editing of manuscripts, posters, abstracts and congress materials. His confident communication skills and easy manner have made him invaluable in the organisation and running of scientific meetings and symposia. His scientific career began in his native Australia, where he studied genetics and commerce at the University of Melbourne. He then swapped hemispheres to join us in Europe, where he has spent the last seven years. Firstly, at the University of Zürich Institute of Life Sciences, where he completed his PhD and post-doctoral investigation ok signalling pathways in the growth and development of model organisms, and more recently in Meggen as a medical writer at nspm.

Opportunities through Open Innovation

Prof. Georg von Krogh, ETH Zürich.

The presentation will focus on:

  • Why firms engage in open innovation
  • What firms do to foster open innovation
  • Ways to succeed with open innovation

Prof. Georg von Krogh

Georg von Krogh was born in Oslo, Norway. He is a Professor at ETH Zurich and holds the Chair of Strategic Management and Innovation. He has been appointed a member of the National Research Council (Nationale Forschungsrat) of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) for 2012-2014. Georg von Krogh was also the Head of ETH Zurich's Department of Management, Technology, and Economics from 2008-2011.

Professor von Krogh specializes in competitive strategy, technological innovation, and knowledge management. He has conducted research in various industries including financial services, media, computer software and hardware, life-sciences, and consumer goods.

Professor von Krogh has published books on strategic management, knowledge creation, innovation, as well as organization and management theory. "Enabling Knowledge Creation" with Professors Nonaka and Ichijo, focused on how firms can build an organization culture and infrastructure that support product and process innovation.

His awards and recognitions include The Association of American Publishers' "Best Professional Business Book Award", the Organization and Management Theory Division's "Best Symposium Award" at the Academy of Management, Harvard Business Review's "Breakthrough Idea," and the ETH Teaching Award "Goldene Eule."

Career Opportunities in the Food Industry

Dr. Martin Michel, Head of Natural Food Products, Nestlé.

Food is intimately connected with life. It connects us to family, friends, loved ones, colleagues, even to our pets. Food marks momentous occasions – a great meal in and on itself is memorable. It touches everyone. It touches you. We hope to give you a flavour of what it is like in our world and our mission to make better food for a better life.

Dr. Martin Michel

Head of Natural Food Products
Food Science & Technology Department
Nestlé Research Center
Vers chez les Blanc
1000 Lausanne 26

Professional Career

Nestlé Research Center, Lausanne, Switzerland. Established new research competence with the aim to develop natural food products

LEHRBEAUFTRAGTER EHT-Zürich, 2002 -present
Various teaching activities in Material and Food Science  

Nestlé Research Center, Lausanne, Switzerland. Worldwide coordination of competence networks in Food Science and Technology.

Nestlé Research Center, Lausanne, Switzerland. Directed and coordinated research group developing food colloids for sensorial & nutritional benefits

Nestlé Research Center, Lausanne, Switzerland. Building up a new research group with a competence in material science of powders.

Nestlé Research Center, Lausanne, Switzerland. Modernization of light & electron microscope facility for digital image acquisition .

Maurice E. Müller Institute for Biomechanics, Bern, Switzerland. Structural characterization of cartilage tissue aiming at tissue regeneration.

ETH-Zürich, Switzerland. Application of high pressure freezing with the aim to preserve structural integrity of biological samples.


1988 -1991    PhD – Biophysics and Electron Microscopy ETH-Zürich
1984 -1987    Diploma in Biology, ETH-Zürich.

The Science of Cosmetics

Dr. Stefan Bänziger, Rahn AG.

Stefan will begin by summarizing his personal academic career as well as highlighting his motives for switching from academia to the cosmetics industry. He will briefly introduce his company, working environment and day-to-day routine. In particular, he will highlight the scientific aspects of his job such as concept development, safety assessment, in-vitro and in-vivo efficacy testing, regulatory issues, the evaluation and reporting of results and technical training. This information may help you to recognize career opportunities in the cosmetics industry.

Dr. Stefan Bänziger

Stefan Baenziger, Dr. sc. Nat., studied molecular and microbiology at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, followed by a doctorate and some post doctoral work at the University Hospital of Zurich (infectious diseases, immunology, and virology). He has a wide experience in the field of cell-culture biology, in-vitro testing, pre-clinical research and small animal models. In March 2010, he started his cosmetic career as Manager of Development of Cosmetic Actives. At RAHN AG he is in charge of the development and realisation of new cosmetic concepts.

Big pharma research careers

Philippe Lopes-Fernandes, Merck Group.

  • Introduction to Merck
  • Focus on Merck Serono
  • Business Development at Merck Serono
  • Career options, general recruiting process for Merck Serono
  • Questions

Philippe Lopes-Fernandes

Philippe Lopes-Fernandes entered the Merck group through the french affiliate in 1993, immediately after finishing his Graduate Business School in Paris. He worked from 1993 to 1996 in Portugal to establish a new OTC department. He then moved to Darmstadt in 1996, led the creation of a management information tool (WRS) before joigning the M&A team in 1997. While he closed several acquisitions projects, his main deal during that period was the in-licensing of Erbitux. In 2000, he moved to the US with responsibility for local business development. In 2002, he was appointed Head of Pharma M&A. He moved back to Germany in 2004, worked on the acquisition of Serono in 2006 and led the divestiture of Generics in 2007 before taking the Head of Business Development position at Merck Serono. He relocated to Geneva early 2008. He is married and has 3 children.

When basic research requires inventions

Prof. Andreas Plückthun, UZH.

Frequently, biological research is limited by inadequate technology. It may be rewarding to invest the time and effort to develop technologies that would let one "crack" a fundamental scientific problem. Even though initially driven by basic science, these new technologies can sometimes lead to commercial opportunities, as exemplified in the founding of Morphosys AG and Molecular Partners AG.

Prof. Andreas Plückthun

Andreas Plückthun is currently a Full Professor of biochemistry at the University of Zürich, Switzerland. He was born in Heidelberg, Germany and studied chemistry at the University of Heidelberg. He received his graduate education at the University of California at San Diego, where he obtained a Ph.D. in 1982. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Chemistry Department of Harvard University (1982-85). From 1985 until 1993, he was group leader at the Genzentrum and Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie in Martinsried. He was appointed to the faculty of the University of Zürich as a Full Professor of Biochemistry in 1993. He has written over 320 publications, which have been cited over 16,000 times (h-factor 74). In 2003, he was elected to the German Academy of Science (Leopoldina).

He received the Young Investigator's Award of the German Industry Fund, was elected member of EMBO, and is recipient of the Karl-Heinz-Beckurts-Prize for 2000 (Munich, Germany), a finalist in the World Technology Awards 2001 (London, UK) and recipient of the JP Morgan Chase Health Award in 2002 (San Jose, USA) and the Wilhelm Exner Medal 2002 (Vienna, Austria), and together with his colleagues, the Swiss Technology Award 2005 (Bern, Switzerland) and the deVigier Award in 2005. He is co-founder and Scientific Advisor of Morphosys AG (Martinsried, Germany) and of Molecular Partners AG (Zürich, Switzerland), for which he is also a board member.

His research field is protein engineering. His lab combines directed evolution, biophysics and biomedical applications.

His major contributions to the field include antibody engineering (the first expression of folded antibodies in E. coli, synthetic libraries), the development of true Darwinian in vitro evolution technology (ribosome display), the development of new binding proteins (DARPins) and the evolution of highly stable G-protein coupled receptors.

Careers in Startups

Dr. Ulrich Kessler, CEO and President of the Board, Pike Pharma.

Dr. Ulrich Kessler

Ulrich Kessler received his PhD in pharmaceutical chemistry from ETH Zurich. Following a postdoctoral stay at Harvard Medical School focusing on target identification, validation and HTS of small molecule libraries in the cancer field, he switched to strategic management consultancy for the pharmaceutical industry at The Boston Consulting Group. Subsequently, he worked in F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG's international strategic business unit. In 2006 he co-founded Pike Pharma GmbH and has since then led a team engaged in the discovery and development of small molecule drug candidates against viral respiratory infections (influenza, RSV and rhinovirus).

Regulatory Affairs

Dr. Fanny Masson, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.

Regulatory Affairs professionals at Roche Pharma are responsible for providing the Regulatory input and leadership throughout the lifecycle of the medicinal product, from initial first in man studies all theway through to the point at which the product lifecycle comes to an end. Their main responsibilities include managing Clinical Trial Applications and Marketing AuthorizationApplications filings worldwide, leading Health Authority Interactions and developing a Global Regulatory Strategy to ensure successful development programs ultimately leading to Regulatoryapproval. The Regulatory training program offered by Roche Pharma offers new life science graduates the chance for a hands-on work experience and general introduction into Regulatory Affairs.

Dr. Fanny Masson.

Fanny has a PhD in biochemistry (University of Zurich and ETH Lausanne) and also holds a master's degree in intellectual property (ETH Zurich). Her PhD research was in the field of DNA damage repair, as part of which she performed state-of-the-art computer simulations to shed light on the mechanisms of repair reactions of a DNA lesion that could lead to skin cancer. Fanny joined Roche in January 2010 as a trainee in regulatory affairs. In 1 August 2011 Fanny accepted a position as Regulatory Program Manager in the oncology team.

Sales and Marketing: Job opportunities

Oliver Nussli, Head of Regional Marketing EMEA, Novozymes Switzerland AG.

The talk would be structured in the following way:

  • Intro to Novozymes (global leader in industrial enzyme technology)
  • The organizational set-up of Marketing and Sales within Novozymes (incl. roles & responsibilities)
  • Existing collaborations with ETH and Uni ZH
  • Potential career paths incl. real life example of recent ETH master graduate

Oliver Nussli

1999 Master of Food Science, ETH (Dipl. Lebensmittel-Ing.)
Management consultant with Accenture

2003 MBA at Rotterdam School of Mgmt (NL) and Kellogg School of Business (Evanston, USA)

2004-2005 Strategy Consultant with Booz & Company

2006-2008   Innovation and Marketing consultant with Unico-first

2008-2010   Novozymes, Global Marketing Manager for the Baking industry

2010-today   Novozymes, Head of Marketing for Europe, Middle East and Africa

Married with Violaine Durand, two common daughters

Interview Case Study

With the Boston Consulting Group.

Dr. Karsten Meier

Education: Karsten holds a master's degree in Molecular Biology & Genetics and a PhD in Biochemistry from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel.

Expertise: Karsten joined BCG in 2005 and has worked since for several clients mainly in the pharmaceutical industry as well as in industrial goods for automotive suppliers. He worked on a variety of topics focusing on sales and marketing but also including turnaround strategy, IT strategy, R&D optimization, and post-merger integration.

During his scientific career, Karsten authored several peer-reviewed articles and was member of scientific reviewing boards. In addition, before joining BCG, Karsten was a teacher for ballroom dancing.

Parallel Session C: Venture Lab

Venture Ideas

How to build your own start-up? And how to be successful at it?

Get the answers at the "venture ideas" event which will take place at the Zurich Life Science Day 2012.

We are looking forward to 90 minutes of useful information about entrepreneurship! Here, you will get insider facts for your startup success:

  • Exclusive reports by startup founders
  • Tips & tricks from experts and investors
  • Places to go if you want to be an entrepreneur

Speakers at the event:

  • Dr. Philipp Antoni, Biognosys AG
  • Dr. Jens M. Kelm, InSphero AG

There will be a networking apéro after the event!

Start: 15:45 pm

End: 17:15 pm with apéro

PS: venture kick provides you with CHF 130'000, support and a network of investors to kick-start your own company. Get your kick at

Weiterführende Informationen

Download the program