The Foundation Board elected Prof. Dr. Jürg Utzinger, Director of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), as the new President of the R. Geigy Foundation as of January 1, 2023, succeeding Prof. Dr. Marcel Tanner, who chaired the Foundation for 25 years.
Changes on the top of R. Geigy Foundation: At its meeting today, the Foundation Board elected Prof. Dr. Jürg Utzinger as successor to the long-serving Foundation President Prof. Dr. Marcel Tanner. He will take office on January 1, 2023.
A strategically important vehicle for the Swiss TPH
"I am enormously pleased to be leading the Foundation as President from January 2023," says Jürg Utzinger. "Over the past decades, the R. Geigy Foundation has developed into a strategically important vehicle for the Swiss TPH. Young researchers in particular have repeatedly been able to benefit from targeted start-up funding and develop their great potential." Jürg Utzinger wants to use the Foundation to set the course for the future and address important issues. These include, in particular, contributions against the increasing loss of biodiversity, climate change as well as the general support of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (UN Agenda 2030). "The R. Geigy Foundation, based in Basel and part of the Swiss TPH, enjoys an excellent reputation, which it owes not least to my predecessor Marcel Tanner," says Utzinger.
25 years in the service of neglected diseases, people and systems
The outgoing president, Marcel Tanner, had developed the Swiss TPH over 25 years and thus also enabled the growth and strategic positioning of the R. Geigy Foundation. In funding, he established a balance between support for young researchers, innovative projects, and research-relevant technology and infrastructure. "The greatest impact the foundation has had has been in supporting numerous doctoral students from around the world," he says. In recent years, the R. Geigy Foundation has provided seed funding for important innovative projects, such as those on urbanization, new "One Health" approaches, the widespread diseases of poverty such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, and also neglected tropical diseases such as Buruli ulcerans, schistosomiasis, rabies and Human African sleeping sickness (HAT).
Marcel Tanner will continue to remain with the Foundation. "Even as a president emeritus I will continue to devote my head, heart and hand to the Foundation; also with the enthusiasm that I still feel," he says.