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Emeriti / former Members
The birth of the Institute of Cell Biology (IZB) in 1974 marked a significant step forward towards Modern Biology at the ETH. Initially, the IZB was the fusion-product of the Laboratory of Developmental Biology, part of the former Zoological Institute, and the Laboratory of Electron Microscopy, part of the Institute of General Botany. The joining forces of so apparently different disciplines was a revolutionary step at the time but soon turned into a major success story since it allowed biologists, biochemists, physicists, and engineers to interact and flourish in a particularly nourishing environment.
In the first phase, the Developmental Biology group (Prof. H.M. Eppenberger) and the Electron Microscopy high-resolution group (Prof. T. Koller) started under rather restricted and narrow working conditions in the HPT building on the Hönggerberg. Soon thereafter, the number of Institute members increased considerably and the final move of Prof. K. Mühlethaler and Prof. H. Moor (Structure and Function of Biological Membranes and Electron Microscopy Technology) required more space. The construction of an excellently suited lab building, the HPM-II, was the elegant solution to this problem. The IZB is still located in this superb location today. The original faculty has been exchanged gradually over the years due to retirements, but the very special entrepreneurial spirit of the early days is stronger than ever. Key questions that are centered around the themes of cell and tissue repair in health and disease as well as the molecular basis of organ formation have become a major focus of the Institute. But most importantly, several new Institutes have been grouped close to the IZB over the very last years covering many symbiotic aspects from Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Molecular Systems Biology, to Applied Biosciences and Biotechnology. This true dream team forms now a Life Science Center that continuously enforces and amplifies the excitement that was started some thirty years ago in the IZB on the Hönggerberg.
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