Marcel Tanner hands over Swiss TPH leadership to Jürg Utzinger

On 30 June 2015, after 18 years as Director, Prof Marcel Tanner, is handing over the leadership of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Swiss TPH, to his successor Prof Jürg Utzinger. Under Tanner’s leadership, Swiss TPH has become an institution of world renown. About 700 employees, researchers & health specialists from over 60 nations are committed to improving health locally, nationally and globally. Prof Tanner is the current chair of the INDEPTH Network. 

With Marcel Tanner as Director since 1997, the Institute has evolved in terms of content and structure. Where formerly questions about the biology of infection from diseases such as malaria and sleeping sickness were at the forefront, there grew with Tanner the belief that disease, health and staying healthy can only be understood in an overall context: Living conditions, environmental and cultural influences. Under Tanner’s leadership, the Institute forced the inter-disciplinary, systemic approach. „The context between health and social systems is crucial,“ says Tanner.

Today anthropologists, sociologists, and ethnologists work closely with veterinarians, doctors, biologists, statisticians and economists. Together they aim to improve the health situation particularly of vulnerable groups of the population. „The complex issues surrounding health and disease can only be solved in a mix of disciplines and methods“, says Tanner. With Marcel Tanner, Swiss TPH reacted flexibly to global challenges. So now the study of chronic diseases is one of the core concerns of the Institute. With the integration of the Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine of the University of Basel, Swiss TPH reached a critical size and could strengthen its activities in the area of environmental epidemiology, pulmonary/respiratory illnesses and public health in Switzerland.
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