The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute: past, present and future

Meier, L. and Casagrande, G. and Dietler, D.. (2021) The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute: past, present and future. Acta Trop, 223. p. 106077.

[img] PDF - Published Version
Available under License CC BY-NC-ND (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives).


Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/89697/

Downloads: Statistics Overview


Compared internationally, the history of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) is unusual. Founded in 1944, at a time of utmost isolation, it was a response to specific needs of the government of Switzerland during the Second World War. In 1943, the Swiss Federal Council approached universities in Switzerland and asked them to submit project proposal that had the potential to mitigate possible post-war unemployment and threatening economic isolation. Members of the University of Basel proposed to establish a Swiss Tropical Institute (today: Swiss TPH). With its harbour at the River Rhine, Basel was an important international transport hub. The city was and still is the headquarters of important pharmaceutical companies, such as Novartis Pharma AG and F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, which were looking for new markets overseas. Last but not least, scientific expeditions to Africa were rather common in the 19(th) and the beginning of the 20(th) century for members of Basel's bourgeoisie. Initially, Swiss TPH focused primarily on basic research into diseases of poverty, but over the years it has developed into an important player in public, international and global health. This article sees the development of the institute as a reflection of the visions of its directors from the founder Professor Rudolf Geigy to Professor Jurg Utzinger, who is the current Swiss TPH director. It includes interviews with the four latest of them, discussing their experiences and attempts to adapt the institute to an ever changing global environment. From these lessons learnt we hope to gain insights that could be relevant for today's leaders of scientific institutes; foster public-private partnerships and contribute to solve some of the most pressing global health challenges.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Urban Public Health > Health Impact Assessment (Winkler)
UniBasel Contributors:Meier, Lukas and Casagrande, Giovanni and Dietler, Dominik
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
ISSN:1873-6254 (Electronic)0001-706X (Linking)
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Related URLs:
Identification Number:
edoc DOI:
Last Modified:21 Dec 2022 14:37
Deposited On:21 Dec 2022 14:37

Repository Staff Only: item control page