The foundation provides financial support, in full or in co-funding, to a number of projects. A brief description of the most relevant ones is given below. For more detailed information please contact us.
A) Cancer research and clinical studies on cancer
Project at the Institute for Molecular Cancer Research (IMCR, University of Zurich)
Identification of germline mutations in families with predisposition to prostate cancer
(2013 - partially completed, ongoing)
The aim of this research project is to investigate the heritable mutations responsible for predisposition to this type of cancer in two families with twins. The study is based on DNA sequencing of the exons and of the entire genome. The identification of the mutation would be of great importance in the planning of preventive strategies in the offspring and, hopefully, also in many other families in the future.
The sequencing has produced high quality data that have been analyzed by experienced bio-informaticians. The results are very interesting and have been integrated in the reference mutation databases.
A specific mutant protein, of which until now very little is known, has been identified. This protein might be the cause, or one of the causes, of the observed predisposition to cancer. To pursue the study, this mutant protein has bee expressed in cells in the laboratory. The toxicity of the protein has been confirmed. This is an exciting finding. The investigation is now approaching completion.
Project at the Proton Therapy Center at Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Villigen
Development of a treatment verification system for continuous scanning in proton therapy
(2014 - 2018 completed)
The Center for Proton Therapy at PSI is a long-standing leader in the field, having in particular pioneered the spot-scanning technique. Continuous scanning can reduce the delivery time of the radiation and can be very effective in the case of tumors subject to organ motion (e.g. lung cancer).
The aim of this project, for which the Foundation is co-funding a PhD researcher, is to develop a verification system to monitor continuously scanned proton beams. Precision, speed, safety and reliability are key issues.
The development of the new system has been completed in the Spring of 2018. The system has been installed and tested and is now ready to become operational in Gantry 2.
The PhD thesis report is available here.
Project RIPK3 - Institute of experimental immunology, University of Zurich
The role of RIPK3 in tumor formation and metastasis
(2015 - 2017 completed)
RIPK3 is a specific protein that influences the secretion of many cytokines, chemical messengers that can modify the immune system and the surrounding cells, facilitating the development of tumors and the formation of metastases.
The team of researchers at Uni Zurich investigates the role of the specific RIPK3 protein, which regulates the production of several cytokines. The study has in particular been focused on the role of RIPK3 on the formation of tumor nodules in the lungs.
The findings have been published in the scientific journal "Nature / Cell Death and Disease"
This research project was supported by Krebsforschung Schweiz (KFS 3386-02-2014).
Project PEINCA - Collaboration of University Hospitals in Basel (Pflegewissenschaft), Bern and Zurich
Studie zum Testen der Wirksamkeit des deutschsprachigen PRO-SELF© Plus Pain Control Program, einer Intervention für Patienten und Patientinnen mit fortgeschrittenen Krebserkrankungen und ihre Angehörigen zur Reduktion von Schmerzen und damit zusammenhängenden Beschwerden.
(2015 - in progress)
Pain is unfortunately a continuous and often unbearable presence for patients with cancer in an advanced stage. PEINCA is a mixed methods study to test the efficacy of the adapted PRO-SELF© Plus Pain Control Program, directed at (German-speaking) cancer outpatients and their family caregivers, to reduce pain and related symptoms.
The results achieved so far with the patients in the intervention group are very positive, but the study has shown to be more challenging than expected because the recruitment of participating patients is difficult. However the project goes on.
Project on prostate cancer - Department of clinical research (DKF), Uni Bern
Towards a precision therapy for mutant prostate cancer
(2017 - ongoing)
Certain forms of prostate cancer are defined through an early mutation in a gene called SPOP. These mutations enable the tumor cells to grow by activating two different critical pathways. The aim of the project is to investigate these processes.
The study will use cells from a mouse model system and the gene editing "scissors" CRISPR-Cas9.
The researchers hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the SPOP mutant prostate cancer and to put forward a strategy for a precision therapy for the patients concerned.
This project is supported by Krebsforschung Schweiz (KLS-4102-02-17)
B) Visual Arts
Project "Maria Netter" - Swiss Institute for Art Research (SIK-ISEA, Zurich)
Übernahme des fotografischen Nachlasses der Basler Kunstkritikerin Maria Netter (1917-1982)
(2014 - 2017 completed)
Maria Netter was a prominent Swiss art critic in the years 1944 to 1982. Her photographic archive is of exceptional interest for the knowledge of the artistic activities and its protagonists in Switzerland in that period. The collection consists of about 1’500 b/w negative films for a total of more than 50’000 pictures as well as excerpts from magazines.
This material has been processed following a scientific methodology (protection, inventarisation, digitalisation and conservation).
An inventory has been made. Individual films have been entered in the general database of SIK-ISEA with meta-data, i.e. date, people, places etc. A selection of 600 pictures has been analysed and the corresponding negatives have been digitized at high resolution. A dedicated domain has been reserved and a dedicated website with many interactive features has been developed.
On 01.03.2017 SIK-ISEA organised a podium panel to present the project to the researchers and the public and opened the access to the website.
The website link is:
C) Classical Music
Piano competition for the students of the "Confédération des écoles genevoises de musique (CEGM)"
(2013 - 2015)
The CEGM consists of two conservatories and one institute. The Foundation has organized this competition in three successive years. The auditions and the concerts of the prize winners have been hosted in turn by the three music schools. Details (in French) can be found here.
Grants to students of Swiss Conservatories and Academies of Music (Conservatoires, Hautes écoles de musique, Musikhochschulen)
(2014 - ongoing)
The foundation allocates grants to talented students (so far on cello, flute, organ, piano, violinand song) that are completing their formation in Master courses in the Musikhochschulen. Each grant generally covers one year schooling fees.
Only a few such grants are allocated each year.