ETH Board approved PHRT second phase 2021-2024
The ETH Board approved a second phase of the ETH strategic focus area “Personalized Health and Related Technologies” (PHRT). PHRT will launch its next call for proposals in the beginning of next year. Bernd Wollscheid, chair of the PHRT Executive Commit-tee, encourages ETH domain researchers to build new competitive consortia together with clinical scientists/clinicians at the interface to define clinical questions in time.
In 2016, the ETH Board specified PHRT as a strategic priority for the ETH Domain between 2017 and 2020. Earlier this year, the Board has approved a second phase of PHRT between 2021 and 2024 and allocated an amount of CHF 50 million for the respective second phase. “We are very pleased with the decision of the ETH Board and are looking forward to consoli-date and continue our existing efforts within the field of personalized health in order to strengthen the progresses made during the first period,” says Bernd Wollscheid, chair of PHRT Executive Committee.
Successful first phase
In its first phase, the PHRT program funded a multi-omics center enabling the digitization of clinical cohorts on the DNA, RNA, protein, metabolite and lipid level, as well as 55 research projects at the interface to University hospitals within Switzerland. Within the concept of buil-ding bridges, ETH domain scientists engaged with clinical scientists to develop and drive pro-jects in biomedical education (doctoral and postdoc level), technology translation to the clinic and research at the interface to targeted clinical questions in order to evaluate and show how ETH domain technologies could support clinical decision-making and benefit patients in the context of Precision Medicine. Understanding the molecular make-up and other individual fac-tors of patients are the basis for the development of next generation theranostic technologies and decision support algorithms. Together with the Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN), and in collaboration with Swiss hospitals, PHRT supports and drives the nationwide use and exchange of health data for research.
Next call for proposals in January 2020
Following the initial three calls for proposals between 2017 and 2019, PHRT will publish its next call jointly with SPHN in January 2020. Bernd Wollscheid encourages researchers and clinicians to build consortia in time in order to get in the pole position: “The competitive selec-tion process for the call necessitates that strong partnerships are being built within ETH Do-main Institutions and hospitals in order to drive competitive clinical research in Precision Med-icine in Switzerland and worldwide. These next PHRT research projects will provide the oppor-tunity to pave the way for tomorrow’s medicine. We are thrilled that ETH Domain Institutions are part of this move.”