Evening lectures and Speakers

The Secret of Life Research Camp

Public lectures


Each lecture will be followed by open discussions.


Monday, 22 November 2021
University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zürich
Irchel Campus, Y24-G-45, 18:30 h

Prof. Dr. Alessio Figalli, Department of Mathematics, ETH Zürich

Ubiquity of optimal transport

Optimal transport originated as a problem to understand the most efficient way of transporting a distribution of material from one place to another.  Surprisingly, very recently, this theory has found critical applications in a variety of areas, such as biology and machine learning. In this talk, I will introduce this important problem and discuss some selected applications.


Short CV Prof. Dr. Alessio Figalli
Prof. Dr. Alessio Figalli earned his doctorate in mathematics in 2007 under the supervision of Luigi Ambrosio at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa and Cédric Villani at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon. He is full professor and director of the “FIM-Institute for Mathematical Research” at ETH Zürich.

Prof. Dr. Alessio Figalli has won an EMS Prize in 2012, the Peccot-Vimont Prize 2011, the Peccot 2012 of the Collège de France, the 2015 edition of the Stampacchia Medal, and the 2017 edition of the Feltrinelli Prize for mathematics, and has been appointed Nachdiplom Lecturer in 2014 at ETH Zürich. He was an invited speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians 2014. In 2018 he won the Fields Medal for “his contributions to the theory of optimal transport, and its application to partial differential equations, metric geometry, and probability”.



Wednesday, 24 November 2021
University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zürich
Irchel Campus, Y15-G-60, 18:30 h

Prof. Dr. Milo Puhan, Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute, University of Zurich

Corona Immunitas – A nation-wide research program on the spread and impact of the Coronavirus pandemic

Corona Immunitas - Opportunities of a Crisis. The example of the Corona Immunitas study is used to illustrate how a large and complex project could be coordinated and implemented in a very short time with a large number of stakeholders. The study program provides a data driven basis for understanding the spread and impact of the Corona pandemic in an entire country. Its 40 studies with more than 50'000 participants informed policy makers and the public but also modelling studies important for managing the pandemic.


Short CV Prof. Dr. Milo Puhan
Prof. Dr. Milo Puhan is an MD and earned an PhD in Epidemiology at the University of Amsterdam in 2006. From 2008 to 2012, he was a tenure track Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, USA. Since 2013 he serves as chair of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Zurich and as director of the EBPI.

Prof. Dr. Milo Puhan is currently the president of the National Research Program 74 Smarter Health Care of the Swiss National Science Foundation, president of the Swiss School of Public Health and directs the PhD program in Epidemiology & Biostatistics of the Life Science Zurich Graduate School.


Friday, 26 November 2021
University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zürich
Irchel Campus, Y24-G-45, 18:30 h

Dr. Magnus Fontes, Institut Roche, Paris

A Tale of Two Worlds - Mathematical Modeling & Immunology in the Mission to Cure Cancer

Mathematics is a universal language for representing human thought models and it has served us well over time, enabling continuous breakthroughs and progress in all scientific and technological fields, including biology and medicine.

I invite you to a guided tour between two worlds, focusing on how researchers in the fields of mathematical, computational and bio-medical sciences together might contribute even more to our mission to cure cancer.


Short CV Dr. Magnus Fontes
Dr. Magnus Fontes earned his PhD in Mathematics from Lund University, Sweden. He was Head of Centre for Mathematical Sciences at Lund University, Sweden (2003-2014); International Director of the Centre for Bioinformatics, Biostatistics and Integrative Biology (C3BI), Institut Pasteur, Paris, France (2014-2017); and, Head of Systems Cancer Immunology, Cancer Immunology, Genentech, CA, USA (2018-2020).

Dr. Fontes is currently General Manager of Institut Roche in Paris, France. His publications cover cancer and infectious disease building on novel theoretical mathematical methods and algorithms. Dr. Fontes is Co-Founder and member of the board of the bioinformatics software company Qlucore.


All three evening lectures:


Entry is restricted to persons with a COVID-certificate. Please show the QR code incl. an ID or a passport at the entrance.


Admission free. No registration required. Limited number of seats.





Download Poster (pdf, 5.3 MB)