Heini Murer #

Biographical sketch#

On 1 March 2006 Heini Murer has taken up his new job as Vice-president for Medicine and the Sciences at the University of Zurich.

He was born in Beckenried (NW; Switzerland) and educated in Stans and Fribourg. He earned his M Sc in Biology from the University of Fribourg and his Ph D in Biochemistry at the Institute of Biochemistry of the same institution, his Ph D supervisor was Prof. P. Portmann. The next three years he spent as a Postdoc at the ETH Zurich at the Laboratory of Biochemistry under the tutelage of Prof. Dr. G. Semenza. From there he went in 1975 to the Max-Planck Institute in Frankfurt and joined the Renal Physiology Laboratory headed by Profs KJ Ullrich and RKH Kinne.

In 1979 he joined the faculty of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Fribourg as an Assistant Professor. In 1981 he moved on to professorship at the Institute of Physiology of the University of Zurich where he awarded his distinguished professorship in 1996. He was Head of Department for 8 years. Additionally, he was Editor-in-Chief of Pflugers Archiv-European Journal of Physiology from 2001 to 2006.

He has been awarded various prizes and honours over the last fifteen years: e.g. Cloëtta Prize (Switzerland), Homer Smith Award (USA), Otto Nägeli Prize (Switzerland), Adolf Fick Prize (Germany), Franz Volhard Medal (Germany), Robert Berliner Lectureship (Yale University; USA), Robert Pitts Memorial Lectureship (IUPS; USA), Donald W. Seldin Award (National Kidney Foundation; USA), Richard Award (ISN), Borrelli Medaille (Italy).

He is an honorary Member of the American Physiological Society and a member of the Academia Europea and the German Academy of Science Research Leopoldina.

He was member and president of the division ‘biology and medicine’ of the research council of Swiss National Science Foundation 1993-2004, chaired the program committee of the ‘World Congress of Nephrology’ in Berlin 2003 and the Gordon Research Conference on Membrane Transport Proteins in 2004.

Curriculum Vitae#

  • Date of birth: 6 August, 1944
  • Address: University of Zürich, Institute of Physiology, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057 Zurich, Tel: +41 44 635 50 30, Fax: +41 44 635 57 15

  • 1969-1971 Ph.D. Student, University of Fribourg, Switzerland (Biochemistry)
  • 1971 Doctoral exam (Ph.D)
  • 1978 Habilitation University of Frankfurt, Germany (Physiological Chemistry)

Professional Experience/Faculty Positions
  • 1972-1975 Research Associate, ETH Zürich, Switzerland (Biochemistry) (G. Semenza)
  • 1975-1979 Research Associate, Max Planck Institute for Junior Group Leader, Biophysics, Frankfurt, (Physiology/Biochemistry), Germany (K.J. Ullrich/R. Kinne)
  • 1979-1980 Associate Professor, Institute of Biochemistry, (Biochemistry), University of Fribourg, Switzerland
  • 1980-present, Professor, University of Zurich, Switzerland, (Physiology)
  • March-Oct 1988 Sabbatical, National Institute of Health, (NIH; USA)
  • 1997-2005 Chairman of Dept., Institute of Physiology, University of Zurich (CH)
  • March 2006 Vice-President (‘Provost’) for Medicine and the Sciences of the University of Zurich

  • 1989 Cloëtta Prize
  • 1991 Homer Smith Award
  • 1994 Otto Nägeli Prize
  • 1994 Adolf Fick Prize
  • 1995 Peter F. Curran Memorial Lectureship (Yale University)
  • 1998 Member of the Academia Europaea
  • 2000 Carl. W. Gottschalk Dist. Lecture (Am. Phys. Soc.)
  • 2000 Robert Berliner Lectureship (Yale University)
  • 2000 Honorary Member American Physiological Society
  • 2000 Member of the German Academy of Science Research Leopoldina
  • 2001 Robert Pitts Memorial Lectureship (IUPS)
  • 2006 Donald W. Seldin Award (National Kidney Foundation; USA)
  • 2006 Franz Volhard Medal (German Society of Nephrology)
  • 2008 Single Member (Honorary) of the Swiss Academy for Medicine
  • 2009 Richard Award (ISN)
  • 2009 Borrelli Medaille (Italy)

Professional activites
  • 2002 Chair ISN Forefronts Meeting‘ABC Cassette Proteins in Epithelial Physiology’ Monte Verita, Switzerland
  • 2003 Chairman Program Committee World Congress of Nephrology (Berlin)
  • 2004 Chair Gordon Research Conference ‘Membrane Transport Proteins’ (Les Diablerets, Switzerland)

Editorial Boards (major)
  • 1979-1990 Editorial Board, American Journal of Physiology,
  • 1997-present Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
  • 1980-2001 Field Editor, Pflügers Archiv, European Journal of Physiology
  • 1986-present Editorial Board, Journal of Membrane Biology
  • 1988-1993 European Editorial Committees (Physiological Reviews)
  • 1991-present Editorial Board Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry
  • 1991-1995 Editorial Board Amer. Journal of Physiology, Renal, Fluid and Electrolyte Physiology
  • 2001-2006 Editor-in-Chief Pflügers Archiv, European Journal of Physiology
  • 2003- present Editorial Board ‘Physiology’

Continuous Memberships in Scientific Societies since
  • 1972 Swiss Society of Biochemistry
  • 1978 American Physiological Society (Honorary Member)
  • 1979 German Society of Nephrology
  • 1979 German Society of Physiology
  • 1981 International Society of Nephrology
  • 1981 Swiss Society of Physiology
  • 1989 Society of General Physiologists
  • 1990 The American Society of Nephrology
  • 1990 Swiss Society of Nephrology
  • 1996 American Society for Cell Biology
  • 1996 The Physiological Society
  • 2008 Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences

  • 1985-1997 Schweiz. Stiftung für Med. Biol. Stipendien (Basel)
  • 1991-1994 Human Frontier Science Program (Review Committee for Research Grants, Strasbourg)
  • 1993/94 President ‘Deutsche Nephrologische Gesellschaft’
  • 1993-2004 Research Council Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF)
  • 1998-1999 Vice-President of Biology and Medicine Section (SNF)
  • 2000-2002 President of Biology and Medicine Section (SNF)
  • 1997-present Coordinator for Forefronts-Programs of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN)
  • 2000-2003 Executive Council of ISN
  • 2002/2003 President of Swiss Society of Nephrology
  • 2008 The Institute for Genetic and Metabolic Disease University, Nijmegen Medical Centre
  • 2009 European Research Council (Selection Pannel for Starting Grants)

Important Grants at present

Swiss National Science Foundation:
Title: Cellular/molecular mechanisms in renal handling of inorganic anions (mostly phosphate).
Project Number: 3100-065397
period: 2002-2007
total amount: CHF 1'390'000.00

Trans Regio-Sonderforschungsbereich Konstanz-Zurich
Title: Structure and Function of Membrane Proteins
Project Number: 6027
period: 2003-2006
total amount: CHF 285'000.00

Title: European Renal Genome Project
Project Number: 005085
period: 2005-2009
total amount: CHF 540'000.00

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