About Us

The Global Health Institute (GHI) is one of the four Institutes of the School of Life Sciences at EPFL with the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC), the Brain Mind Institute (BMI) and the Institute of Bioengineering (IBI).

The GHI currently comprises ten groups, which are engaged in different facets of research linked to human health and disease. Our research focuses on basic mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions, symbiosis, innate immunity, antibiotic resistance, gene regulation, epigenetic, protein localization, and toxin delivery.

A feature of the GHI is its ability to tackle crucial world health issues by harnessing cutting edge technologies developed at EPFL and elsewhere. Among these the nanotechnologies, microengineering, bio informatic and machine learning are proving particularly powerful at providing new insights on human health.

The Global Health Institute was established in 2005 by Professors Gisou van der Goot and Didier Trono to contribute to the understanding, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.

In 2007 Stewart Cole, John McKinney (joint appointment with IBI) and Bruno Lemaitre joined the GHI, and Stewart Cole became its first Director (2007-2017). This was followed by the recruitment of Melanie Blokesch (2009), Nicola Harris (2009-2017) and Christian Doerig (2009-2012), Jacques Fellay (2011, jointly with CHUV), Andrea Ablasser (2014), Marcel Salathé (2015), Alex Persat (2016, joint appointment with IBI) and Bart Deplancke.

While the initial emphasis of the GHI was on infectious diseases, recruitments and internal changes within the Institute’s various laboratories have led to a more diverse portfolio of research thematic. Following the departure of Stewart Cole, appointed Director of Pasteur Institute in Paris, Bruno Lemaitre became the new GHI Director.

In 2009, Christian Doerig moved his laboratory to Monash University

In 2017, Nicola Harris moved her laboratory to Monash university

In 2018, Stewart Cole, who was appointed Director of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, closed his laboratory.

The Global Health Institute has established partnerships with some of the leading research centers in Switzerland, Europe and India to promote and strengthen international collaborations and expand the training opportunities for EPFL students and scientists.

The Indian Institute of Science aims to be among the world’s foremost academic institutions, through the pursuit ofresearch excellence and the promotion of innovation, by offeringworld class education to train future leaders in science and technology and by applying science and technology breakthroughs for India’s wealth creation and social welfare.

The Foundation for Medical Research practices a combination of basic biomedical and translational research for diseases that affect vulnerable sections of Indian Society. It offers opportunities for post-graduate and doctoral training in Applied Biology, from Mumbai University. Staff opportunities for continuous capacity building inculcate independent and innovative thinking.

The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute is a world-leading institute in global health with a particular focus on low- and middle-income countries. Associated with the University of Basel, Swiss TPH combines research, services, and education and training at the local, national and international level. We aim to improve the health and wellbeing of populations through a better understanding of disease and health systems and by acting on this knowledge.

The Institute for Research in Biomedicine Bellinzona was founded in 2000 with the goal of advancing the study of human immunology, with particular emphasis on the mechanisms of host defense. The IRB benefits from a wide international network of collaborations. In addition, the IRB provides teaching and training programs for graduate students from Swiss and foreign Universities.

The mission of our Scientific Advisory Board is to help the Global Health Institute to establish a solid scientific platform.