BRCCH 2023 Image Contest

BRCCH 2023 Image Contest


The BRCCH warmly invites all BRCCH Early Career Researchers involved in a BRCCH-supported project to participate in the third edition of the BRCCH Image Contest. Submit your images of your scientific work for a chance to win up to CHF 500 to attend a scientific conference or professional development event of your choice. 

Images should visually reflect the research done in your BRCCH project during 2023. They could, for example, show lab, clinical or field work, depict certain methods, visualise results or data, or show the goals of the project. Winning images will be selected based on aesthetics and alignment with the BRCCH scientific scope.

Please send us your image(s) by email to with a descriptive caption, a credit of the image(s) by Friday, 15 December 2023.

See the winners of the 2021 and 2022 contests.

Details and Conditions of 2023 Image Contest

Conditions of submission are addressed below, but please contact us at with any remaining questions.

BRCCH Image Contest’s conditions of submission:

  1. Early career researchers involved in BRCCH-funded projects are eligible to submit image entries.
  2. Several images can be submitted as a single entry.
  3. We welcome all types of images (e.g. photography, microscopy, computer-generated images, graphics).
  4. Minimal resolution of 300 dpi is required and any image file format (RAW, EPS, TIF, PNG, etc) can be submitted.
  5. If people are shown in the image and are identifiable, they must have given explicit consent to be photographed.
  6. Images should not show sensitive or confidential information or data.
  7. Images generated from BRCCH-funded photoshoots are not eligible.
  8. Images submitted to the BRCCH may be used for BRCCH communication projects (e.g., BRCCH Annual Report, flyers, website). Images will not be used for any commercial or for-profit purpose.
  9. Images remain the copyright of the researcher. BRCCH will credit the image accordingly.
  10. BRCCH will never share the images with third-parties (e.g., news media) without the explicit consent of the researcher.
  11. * Winners of contest receive support to attend a scientific conference or professional development event of their choice with justifiable costs reimbursable up to a maximum of 500 CHF.

BRCCH 2022 Image Contest

BRCCH Image Contest

**update 10 February 2023: Congratulations to the 2022 winners!

The BRCCH warmly invites all BRCCH Early Career Researchers involved in a BRCCH-supported project to participate in the second edition of the BRCCH Image Contest. Submit your images of your scientific work for a chance to win a sponsorship* to attend a scientific conference of your choice. 

Images should visually reflect the research done in your BRCCH project during 2022. They could, for example, show lab, clinical or field work, depict certain methods used, or visualise results or data, or show the goals of the project. Winning images will be selected based on aesthetics and alignment with the BRCCH scientific scope.

Please send us your image(s) by email to with a descriptive caption and a credit of the image(s) by Friday, 2 December 2022.

Details and conditions at bottom of page.

Last year's winners

The BRCCH received many stunning and inspiring entries in the 2021 contest. Here are the three winning entries.

2021 contest winner Ronja Rappold (ETHZ) who is working on a MIP project. The image shows a mouse cross-section of cecal tissue with food content. It is stained with Hematoxylin and Eosin to visualise the nuclei and the extracellular matrix, respectively. Researchers use these stainings to assess the pathological state of tissues. Visual: Ronja Rappold

2021 contest winner Keith Gunapala (University of Basel) who is working on a PEP project. In this image, human embryonic stem cells were engineered to have 23 chromosomes. These haploid embryonic stem cells can be used to more easily model human diseases and identify therapeutic approaches because having only one copy of a gene to work with makes the results of causation much easier to study. Blue shows DNA within a haploid cell, red indicates histones and green is the centromere of the chromosome. Visual: lab of Nissim Benvenisty

2021 contest winner Michele Gregorini (University of Basel) who is working on a FTC project. In this image, BRCCH researchers are developing an affordable and accurate “rapid PCR test” with the goal of making advanced diagnostics available in point-of-care and resource-limited settings. Visual: Diaxxo AG

    About the 2021 Winners:

    Ronja Rappold, MSc, is a PhD student working with Prof Viola Vogel and Prof Emma Wetter Slack in the Department of Health Sciences and Technology (D-HEST) at ETH Zurich. She is highly interested in studying how mechanobiological cues affect cell signalling, more particularly the mechanobiological impact on intestinal inflammation. In a Multi-Investigator Project, she is investigating pathology-associated extracellular matrix changes occurring in the gastrointestinal tract and other disease-implicated organs. Using immunohistochemistry and histology techniques, high-resolution imaging and advanced image analysis, she is aiming to find mechanobiological readouts that could be used as early diagnostic markers in rare genetic disorders of metabolism.

    With her BRCCH Image Contest prize, Ronja attended the 2022 EMBL Symposium: Mechanobiology in development and disease in Heidelberg, Germany.


    Dr Michele Gregorini is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering (ICB) at ETH Zurich. Dr Gregorini is a pioneer fellow of ETH Zurich and his PhD thesis focuses on the agile development of a variety of chemical devices. In a Fast Track Call for COVID-19 Research project, his main focus has been the development of hardware and software for the peakPCR platform, a series of thermocycling devices performing PCR analysis in a fraction of the usual time. Dr Gregorini obtained his PhD in Prof Wendelin Stark’s group after finishing his master’s degree in mechanical engineering at ETH Zurich.

    With his BRCCH Image Contest prize, Michele attended the 18th Münchner AIDS- und COVID-Tage in Munich, Germany.

    Dr Keith Gunapala is a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Prof Verdon Taylor at the Department of Biomedicine of the University of Basel. In a Postdoctoral Excellence Programme project, His research interests lie in understanding human brain development using organotypic culturing and cerebral organoids. He aims to use these platforms to better understand normal human brain development, neurodevelopmental disorders, and find novel therapeutic strategies. He holds a PhD from the University of Basel in neurobiology.

    With his BRCCH Image Contest prize, Keith attended the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) 2022 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, USA.

    Attending the ISSCR was a game changer for me. I was able to listen to cutting-edge unpublished work that widened my horizons but directly impacted my project as well. There was one talk about the epigenetics of FMR1 in stem cells which was highly relevant and made me turn my project to a different direction to find potential drug targets. Without the support of the BRCCH I would not have been able to broaden my project without the opportunity to hear that fantastic talk.” - Dr Keith Gunapala

    BRCCH Supports Travel Fellowships for the 7th World One Health Congress

    BRCCH Supports Travel Fellowships for the 7th World One Health Congress


    The BRCCH provides three travel fellowships (up to 5’000 SGD each / approximately 3'400 CHF) to PhD students and early career scientists aiming to attend the 7th World One Health Congress (WOHC 2022) taking place in Singapore on November 7-11, 2022. Early career researchers involved in paediatric health or medicine and residing in low- and middle-income countries are encouraged to apply.

    Apply by 31 July: More on the WOHC 2022 website. Submit application on the registration webpage.

    About the congress:

    The theme for the 7th World One Health Congress is Integrating Science, Policy and Clinical Practice: A One Health Imperative Post-COVID-19. To capture the multifaceted One Health paradigm, the WOHC 2022 will bring together five distinct tracks over five days: One Health Science, Pandemic Preparedness and Health Systems Resilience, Policy, Environment and Biosecurity, Impact on and Innovations in Clinical Practice, and Antimicrobial Resistance. The programme will feature renowned keynote speakers, plenary lectures from experts, scientific sessions with abstract presentations and panel discussions on urgent and emerging topics.




    BRCCH Supports Travel Fellowships for Computational Biology Conference

    BRCCH Supports Travel Fellowships for [BC]2 Basel Computational Biology Conference


    The BRCCH provides three travel fellowships (1’666 CHF each) to PhD students and early career scientists aiming to attend the [BC]2 Basel Computational Biology Conference. Early career researchers involved in paediatric research and those from low- and middle-income countries are encouraged to apply.

    More information and APPLY at the [BC]2 website.

    The [BC]2 Basel Computational Biology Conference, September 13-15, 2021, will be more interdisciplinary than ever this year, with sessions on cancer and precision medicine, machine learning, clinical population genomics, pathogens and immune system, single-cell biology, evolutionary biology and ecology.  

    The conference will offer many opportunities for interactivity including the ELIXIR Innovation and SME Forum to learn about solutions for preventive medicine and the whole learning ecosystem of health, as well as tutorials and workshops providing an informal setting to discover and discuss about the latest bioinformatics methods.  



    BRCCH and EDCTP Start a New Joint Initiative

    The BRCCH and EDCTP
    Start a New Joint Initiative

    The BRCCH and the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) are to support three multi-institutional, multi-country collaborations for research to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. Three collaborative projects are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with research to improve the surveillance and management of COVID-19. The projects are a result of a synergistic Collaboration Initiative by EDCTP and the BRCCH to drive interdisciplinary efforts to combat global health challenges amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The Collaboration Initiative:

    In 2020, each organisation launched its own emergency mechanism to support research in COVID-19. The EDCTP mechanism focused on efforts in sub-Saharan Africa to manage and/or prevent the spread of COVID-19 and targeted four thematic research gaps: therapeutics, diagnostics, serological testing, and understanding of the natural history of infection. The BRCCH Fast Track Call initiative focused on research within diagnostics, immunology and medical interventions that will help mitigate medical and public health challenges in the short term, and to also contribute solutions that will lead to better preparedness and reduced global disease burden in the long term.

    Realising the potential for collaborative efforts, the EDCTP and the BRCCH initiated dialogues between Principal Investigators (PIs) in their respective programmes. BRCCH-EDCTP consortia that wished to pursue a potential future collaboration were then invited to submit formal applications for external peer-review. The applications underwent evaluation in November 2020.

    This joint BRCCH-EDCTP Collaboration Initiative will support three projects that range from immunology to diagnostics and health screening strategies for COVID-19 in low- and middle-income country (LMIC) settings. The projects, which are a complementary extension to the ongoing research activities being funded by BRCCH and EDCTP, will launch in early 2021 and will be supported with 900,000 CHF in total funding over a period of two years. Involved BRCCH researchers are based in the centre's partner institutions: ETH Zurich, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and the University Hospital Basel.

    Researchers do community outreach in remote areas in Lesotho in order to increase access to essential health services. Image: SolidarMed & Swiss TPH


    The Research:

    Improving Access to SARS-CoV-2 Screening and Testing through Community-based COVID-19 Case-Finding and the Use of Digital Solutions in Lesotho and Zambia
    In a collaboration between teams in Lesotho and Zambia, Dr Klaus Reither (Swiss TPH, BRCCH grantee for the MistraL project) and Dr Kwame Shanaube (Zambart, EDCTP grantee for the TREATS-COVID project) will investigate the effects of community-led interventions, rapid point-of-care diagnostics and swab self-collection in mitigating the COVID-19 epidemic in these African nations. The project will be carried out by 14-member consortium, including collaborators based at  the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, SolidarMed, FIND and KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation.

    African-European Partnership for Development and Deployment of Rapid SARS-CoV-2 RNA and Antigen Detection Assays
    Prof Janos Vörös, Prof Wendelin Stark (both ETH Zurich, BRCCH grantee for a Rapid Diagnostic Test project and for the peakPCR project, respectively) and Dr Ahmed Abd El Wahed (University of Leipzig, EDCTP grantee for the Suitcaselab project) aim to advance novel and rapid COVID-19 diagnostic technologies tailored for poor-resource and emergency settings. Including partners in France and seven African countries, the 13-PI consortium will co-develop a rapid lateral flow diagnostic assay, a portable PCR device operated in a mobile suitcase lab for use in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The consortium includes collaborators from the Institut Pasteur de Paris, Institut Pasteur de Dakar, Institute Pasteur de Madagascar, KNUST, University of Ibadan, INRB, University of Khartoum and Makerere University.

    COVID-19 Antibody Repertoires in Infection and Vaccination
    The project co-led by Prof Andreas Moor (ETH Zurich, BRCCH grantee for a B-Cell Immunity project) and Dr Julie Fox (King’s College London, EDCTP grantee for the COVAB project) aims to investigate B cell-mediated immunity to SARS-CoV-2 infection in different health states. Specifically, the consortium will investigate and compare the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on the antibody repertoire in patients who contract the virus through natural means, in COVID-19 patients who also suffer from HIV and in vaccinated individuals. This consortium involves four researchers from institutions in the UK and Switzerland (in addition to the two named above, the University Hospital Basel).

      About EDCTP:

      The mission of the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) is to reduce the social and economic burden of poverty-related diseases in developing countries, in particular sub-Saharan Africa, by accelerating the clinical development of effective, safe, accessible, suitable, and affordable medical interventions for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, neglected infectious diseases, lower respiratory tract infections, diarrhoeal diseases and infectious diseases of epidemic potential, including Ebola and COVID-19 . EDCTP is supported by the European Union under Horizon 2020, its Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

      11 Projects for COVID-19 Research

      Fast Track Call (FTC) for
      Acute Global Health Challenges

      The BRCCH is pleased to announce 11 COVID-19 research consortia: The mandate of the BRCCH is to drive the development of innovative and step-changing health solutions for those who are most in need. With the support of Fondation Botnar, the BRCCH launches a new research initiative to address several critical areas related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Initiative’s objective is to both enable research that will help mitigate medical and public health challenges in the short-term, and to also contribute solutions that will lead to better preparedness and reduced global disease burden in the long-term.

      The BRCCH Board approved the FTC external evaluation committee’s recommendation to support 11 projects that seek to deliver immediate impact in the following research areas:

        Rapid and effective consortia among BRCCH’s four partner institutions, University of Basel including University Hospital Basel (USB), ETH Zurich, University Children’s Hospital Basel (UKBB) and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), and in collaboration with research teams worldwide, will aim to address urgent health needs. The following projects start activities this month.

        Each project is considerably supported for a duration of 2.5 years.

        About the Call: The initial call for the FTC circulated on March 27th, 2020. 73 research consortia submitted project proposals on April 8th, with more than 97 (Co-) Investigators involved and total requested budget of approximately CHF 84 million. Applications were evaluated by an external and international panel of reviewers. The panel recommended to support 11 projects (success rate of 15%), which were subsequently approved by the BRCCH Board. The FTC initiative is generously supported by Fondation Botnar.

        4 Projects Launch in Multi-Investigator Programme

        Multi-Investigator Programme (MIP)

        The BRCCH is pleased to announce its Multi-Investigator Programme (MIP) projects for the 2019 Call, which establish the first cornerstones of the Centre's research portfolio to improve the health and well-being of children and adolescents worldwide. MIP projects bring together researchers from its four partner institutions and therefore represent collaborative and multi-institutional research consortia.  
        The projects will start in early 2020 and will continue for five years. The Principal Investigators will introduce their projects on the inaugural Spotlight Day of the BRCCH on Thursday, 30 January 2020 at the Zentrum für Lehre und Forschung of the University Hospital Basel.

        The BRCCH supports the following Multi-Investigator Projects:

        Digital Support Systems to Improve Child Health and Development in Low-Income Settings
        In many low- and middle-income countries, families living in remote areas often have insufficient access to healthcare and health-related services to adequately support their children in the first years of their life. As a result, children’s early development is often delayed compared to children who grow up without such adversity, limiting their potential to lead a healthy and prosperous life. To address this, a new project led by Professor Günther Fink and Professor Daniel Mäusezahl will assess the extent to which a mobile phone-based interactive app can support the well-being of infants and young children growing up in low-and middle-income countries. Together with the creator of the app, Afinidata, the team will assess this platform through a study involving 2,400 families with young children in San Marcos province, Peru.  Through this study, the research team will not only learn about the potential reach and impact of the app, but will also collect feedback from local communities to further improve the app’s ability to support children’s healthy development.

             Team members: Professor Günther Fink and Professor Daniel Mäusezahl from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute from Swiss TPH, Professor Ce Zhang from ETH Zürich, Professor Stella Hartinger-Peña from the Cayetano Heredia University (UPCH), Professor Dana McCoy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Andreana Castellanos, CEO of Afinidata.

        Burden-Reduced Cleft lip and palate Care and Healing
        Dr Andreas Mueller and Dr Barbara Solenthaler aim to simplify and optimize the surgical treatment of cleft lip and palate with the use of machine learning algorithms, smartphone-based images of the malformation, and 3D-printing of tailor-made palatal orthopedic plates. Not only will this project leverage on cutting-edge technology, but it will also aim to reduce the burden of surgery from a multi-step to a single-step procedure. The applicability of the proposed research project is especially relevant for children in low-income settings because current treatments are relatively high in cost and burdensome for the patient and his/her family which, in addition, may face challenges in securing the funding for the multiple surgeries presently needed. The project goals also allow the social reintegration of children with cleft lip and palate.
             Team members: Dr Andreas Mueller from the University Hospital and University Children’s Hospital Basel, Dr Barbara Solenthaler from ETH Zurich, Dr Srinivas Gosla Reddy from GSR Institute of Craniofacial Surgery, Hyderabad, India, Dr Andrzej Brudnicki from the Institute of Mother and Child, Warsaw and Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic Formmed, Warsaw and Prof. Markus Gross from Disney Research.

        Living Microbial Diagnostics to Enable Individualized Child Health Interventions
        Malnutrition, infectious diseases and inflammatory conditions remain leading causes of illness in children living in low-and-middle income countries. In times of sickness and chronic illness, our gut microbes undergo genetic and physiological changes in response to the effects of insults such as infection or disease on the human body. Therefore, the monitoring of the changes in the gut microbiome has the potential to serve as a functional readout of the status of our health. In this project, the team led by Professor Randall Platt aims to develop a CRISPR-based technology involving engineered bacteria which are capable of sensing, remembering, and reporting on the environment within the gut. These bacteria will be utilized to provide an assessment of the nutritional, infection, and inflammation status of the gut and thereby provide a basis for individualizing and improving medical and lifestyle interventions for children and adolescents in the future.
             Team members: Professor Randall Platt and Professor Uwe Sauer from ETH Zurich, Professor Dirk Bumann from the University of Basel and Professor Andrew Macpherson from the University of Bern.

        Precision Microbiota Engineering for Child Health
        From shortly after birth, the large intestine is colonized by billions of bacteria, which make up the intestinal microbiota. We are only just beginning to understand the extent and the mechanisms by which these bacteria influence child health and development. However, current studies support causal roles of these bacteria in diseases as diverse as allergy and autism. Despite this knowledge, we still have no accurate medical intervention to “fix” the microbiota. This project headed by Professor  Emma Wetter Slack develops novel tools to engineer the microbiota of individuals with inborn errors of metabolism or necrotizing enterocolitis: these conditions currently have high mortality rates, long-term consequences for child development and limited treatment options. The project aims to replace “bad” bacteria in the microbiome of the gut by “desirable” ones. This modification will be achieved with the help of engineered antibodies, and the direct targeting of individual genes in intestine-resident bacteria by employing CRISPR-Cas9 methodology. Moreover, since microbiota engineering can be applied across a wide range of childhood diseases, this effort has far-reaching implications for the future of medicine.
             Team members: Professor Emma Wetter Slack, Professor Viola Vogel, Professor Ferdinand von Meyenn, Professor Johannes Bohacek, and Professor Shinichi Sunagawa from ETH Zürich, and Professor Médéric Diard from the University of Basel, Professor Matthias Baumgartner, Professor Johannes Häberle and Dr Sean Froese from the University Children’s Hospital Zürich, Dr Johannes Trück from the University Children’s Hospital Zürich and University of Zürich, Professor Giancarlo Natalucci from the University Hospital Zürich, Professor Christian Wolfrum from ETH Zürich, Dr Martin Behe from the Paul Scherrer Institute and Professor Adrian Egli from the University Hospital Basel.

        About the Call: The initial call for Multi-Investigator Projects circulated in Summer 2019. 28 applications were submitted, with more than 90 (co-) investigators involved and requested funding of approximately CHF 105 million. All submitted MIP applications were rigorously evaluated by an external and independent panel of reviewers. The first evaluation round was completed in September, the second round in October 2019. Applicants that  received positive assessments in both evaluation rounds were then invited to an interview-based workshop with our international Project Evaluation Board on 24 October 2019. On the basis of these presentations and all reviews, the evaluation board proposed four projects for funding, which the BRCCH Board accepted at its meeting on 6 December.

        Please see more information on the evaluation process. We look forward to promoting innovative and bold research projects for the health and well-being of children and adolescents worldwide!

        Archive Application Documents