Last Nov. 30, in the building of the Bellinzona Institutes of Science (Bios+), the IRB community paid tribute to Prof. Marcus Thelen, who after 22 years at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) went to the benefit of retirement. Prof. Thelen, an internationally recognized biochemist, was one of the founding members back in 2000 contributing to the birth and growth of the Institute.
Marcus Thelen studied at the University of Tübingen (DE) and moved to Bern to complete his doctorate. He then moved to the Theodor Kocher Institute at the University of Bern where he became interested in inflammation and chemokines, proteins that play a key role in the immune response and are responsible for regulating the “trafficking” of certain cells of the immune system, such as white blood cells. After moving to Rockefeller University in New York in 1989, he returned to the Theodor Kocher Institute in 1992, where he established a research group aimed at studying the molecular mechanisms of signal transduction in leukocytes. In 2000, he moved to Bellinzona where he contributed to the growth of the IRB.
During his years at the IRB, Prof. Thelen has proven to be a highly accomplished biochemist who has largely contributed to advancing knowledge in the field of inflammation and immune response regulation, what has allowed him to consistently publish in leading international scientific journals. Prof. Thelen’s attention has also been directed toward the training of tomorrow’s scientists, of numerous female researchers, who have gone on to pursue their careers in academia or industry, in Switzerland and abroad, and organizing multiple international conferences. The symposium “Typical and atypical research(er) on chemokines,” held last September at Bios+ and attended by more than 15 international speakers, was an opportunity for the IRB community to celebrate Prof. Thelen for his important contribution to the Institute and to scientific research in Italian-speaking Switzerland.
The President, Foundation Board members, Director, Group Leaders, and the entire IRB community thank Prof. Marcus Thelen for his tireless commitment to the growth of the Institute. Prof. Thelen will continue to work with the IRB as a consultant for the Advanced Microscopy Course, which welcomes to Bellinzona participants from all over Switzerland.
Meanwhile, an international competition has been launched to recruit a new group leader who, with innovative approaches, will develop a competitive research program in immunology and related disciplines on topics relevant to biomedicine.