Jürg Gertsch (PI)

Jürg Gertsch (PI)


Position: P7 Coordinator and supervisor for ESR10, Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Bern

Supervisor for Project ESR10 Cultural consensus and bioprospecting for anti-Chagas medicinal plants in Bolivia.

University of Bern
The University of Bern is a medium-sized university (15000 students) in the Swiss capital of Bern founded in 1834. It offers about 40 bachelor and 70 master programmes and offers top quality across the board, enjoying special recognition in leading-edge disciplines. It is reputed for the excellent quality of its teaching, offers a delightful setting, and a campus environment intimately linked to the social, economic and political life of the city. The history oft he university includes Albert Einstein who got his venia docendi at the University of Bern, at the age of 29. Currently, the university has more than 2500 doctoral students. Its academic and research organisation prides itself on its interdisciplinarity, exemplified by its Strategic Research Centers and its different National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCR), including North-South, TransCure, and RNA & Disease. For further details visit: http://www.unibe.ch/eng/about/index.html.

JURG GERTSCH was born in 1972. He studied cultural antrophology at the Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV) and Neurosciences and Biochemistry at Sussex University and the Biozentrum Basel. He received his M.Sc. from Sussex University and his Dr.sc.nat from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH). He has taught pharmaceutical biology and ethnopharmacoogy at ETH and the University of Zurich and is a present full professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine at the University of Bern. Dr. Gertsch has done fieldwork among the Yanomami in Venezuela and carried out research in Mexico, Sarawak and Bolivia. In 2009 he was a visiting professor at the University of Cagliari. He taught at the university of Guadalajara, Mexico. Since 2010 he serves as external advisor for different pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Gertsch’s research focuses on molecular pharmacology of the endocannabinoid system and drug discovery. His research group works on projects related to biochemical pharmacology of lipids, bioactive natural products, immunopharmacology, neuropharmacology and now also Chagas disease.

Why did you find it important to be part of MedPlant?
I felt that MedPlant had the potential to become the best PhD programme in ethnobotany/ethnopharmacology for decades. Given its visionary interdisciplinary scope, I simply wanted to become part of it.

What do you hope to gain/achieve as part of MedPlant?
My aim is to do good innovative science and train my MedPlant PhD student and postdoc in transdisciplinarity. I hope to be taught myself by peers and get inspired by medicinal plants, phylogeny and fieldwork.