2021 Hans Sigrist Symposium Focuses on Single Cell Analysis

The Hans Sigrist Symposium will take place at the University of Bern on Friday, December 3, 2021. This year, the prize will be awarded to Prof. Dr. Garry Nolan for his research in single cell analysis. The symposium will examine how these insights can be used for individualized forms of therapy against diseases like cancer.

The 2021 Hans Sigrist Prize is awarded in the field of “The Single Cell Revolution and Precision Medicine”. The prize winner is Prof. Dr. Garry Nolan of Stanford University (U.S.A.), who is recognized for his valuable work in the development of new methods to analyze single cells. His groundbreaking research, specifically the adaptation of the “CyTOF” technology for immunology in his lab, allows the precise analysis of dozens of parameters of single cells. With this new wealth of information, it is even possible to generate a fingerprint of a single cell. This approach has created a new line of research on how to spatially map single cells in a system to closely examine complex processes within cell populations. This information is crucial for a better understanding of the progression of diseases like cancer and for finding new therapeutic approaches.

Prof. Dr. Sven Rottenberg, Head of the Institute of Animal Pathology and member of the Bern Center for Precision Medicine, chaired the prize committee this year and connects the award to the bigger picture: “At the moment, it is very difficult to predict which therapies are effective for which patients. The accurate single cell analysis presented by Prof. Nolan has opened new doors in the field. I am confident that this will lead us to develop better forms of therapy and help tackle the big clinical hurdle of anti-cancer therapy resistance.”

"The Hans Sigrist Foundation is very much looking forward to the upcoming symposium. We are excited to welcome extraordinary international and local researchers to discuss and honor the developments in the prize field and to spur on research that can have such important impacts on health”, says Prof. Dr. Norbert Trautmann, President of the Hans Sigrist Foundation.

The Hans Sigrist Prize includes 100’000 CHF to be used for research in the prize field and will be awarded at the University’s Dies academicus ceremony on Saturday, December 4, 2021 at the Casino Bern.

About the Prize Winner:

Prof. Dr. Garry Nolan

  • Born 1961, U.K., emigrated to U.S.A. in 1963
  • 1983, Bachelor of Science in Biology, specialization in Genetics, Cornell University, U.S.A.
  • 1989, Ph.D., Department of Genetics, Stanford University, U.S.A.
  • 1990-1993, Postdoctoral work in David Baltimore’s laboratory, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research (MIT) and Rockefeller University, U.S.A.
  • 1993-1999, Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Stanford University School of Medicine, U.S.A.
  • 1999-2009, Associate Professor, Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Stanford University School of Medicine, U.S.A.
  • 2009-2011, Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, U.S.A.
  • 2011-Present, Rachford and Carlota A. Harris Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, U.S.A.

The University of Bern and the Hans Sigrist Foundation cordially invite you to the Hans Sigrist Symposium:

Date:            Friday, December 3, 1.00 p.m. – 5.00 p.m.
Location:      UniS Building, Schanzeneckstrasse 1, Lecture Hall S-003, 3012 Bern
Keynote:       “Learning, and Applying, Rules from Immune-Cancer Interfaces at the Atomic Scale on up”

The symposium will be presented in a hybrid format, both in person and on Zoom.  
Meeting-ID: 691 2834 6325
Code: 189792

Admission is free of charge. The language of the symposium is English. A valid Covid certificate and the wearing of masks is required for in-person attendance. The format of the program may change with short notice due to the current situation. Please check https://www.sigrist.unibe.ch/symposium/index_eng.html for updates about the format.  


Prof. Dr. Bernd Bodenmiller, ETH Zürich and University of Zürich, Department of Quantitative Biomedicine
Prof. Dr. Jean-Christophe Marine, VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology (Belgium)
Prof. Dr. Garry Nolan, Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine (U.S.A.)
Prof. Dr. Sven Rottenberg, Institute of Animal Pathology, University of Bern
Prof. Dr. Mark Rubin, Department for BioMedical Research, University of Bern
Prof. Dr. Norbert Trautmann, Hans Sigrist Stiftung at the University of Bern
Prof. Dr. Barbara Treutlein, ETH Zürich and Quantitative Developmental Biology Lab, Basel
Prof. Dr. Roser Vento-Tormo, Group Leader Cellular Genetics, Wellcome Sanger Institute (UK)

Media professionals are kindly requested to register by December 2, 2021, at medien@unibe.ch / Phone +41 31 684 41 42. Interview requests can be sent to the same address.

Article in «uniaktuell»

Developing Tools to Help Cancer Treatment

A conversation with prize winner Prof. Garry Nolan and chair of the prize committee, Prof. Sven Rottenberg, about this year’s prize field.

To the article


The Hans Sigrist Prize and Hans Sigrist Symposium

Each year, the Hans Sigrist Foundation Board selects the prize field from proposals made by the faculties at the University of Bern. The prize is awarded in recognition of research achievements and based the promise of future contributions. Winners use the 100,000 CHF prize to fund further research in the prize field. Two earlier Hans Sigrist Prize winners have gone on to be awarded the Nobel Prize.  

More information about the Hans Sigrist Foundation

Prof. Nolan will receive the prize at the University's annual Dies academicus ceremony, which takes place this year on Saturday, December 4, at the Casino Bern (Casinoplatz 1, 3011 Bern). The media invitation for Dies academicus will follow shortly.

More information about the Dies academicus