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Pfizer Foundation Prize

Pfizer Research Prize: 3 Researchers From The Swiss Health Valley Awarded

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13 young researchers from Fribourg, Geneva, Basel, Bern, and Zurich have won a 2024 Pfizer Research Award.


Since 1992, Pfizer Prize for Research has been awarded annually to young scientists conducting research at Swiss research institutes or hospitals. The award, is aimed at outstanding and pioneering contributions in pure and clinical research. Each awarded project receives a CHF 15,000 money prize. 3 Researchers from the Swiss Health Valley were selected.


UNIFR – Addressing Newborn Health through Perinatal Healthcare Coverage

Low birthweight and preterm birth are global health concerns associated with increased infant mortality and long-term health risks. A Swiss study led by Dr Adina Epure from University of Fribourg investigated the impact of a 2014 health policy expanding perinatal healthcare cost coverage on newborn health outcomes. Analyzing nearly 509,000 births from 2011 to 2019, the study found positive effects, notably a 0.81% decrease in low birthweight births. However, it revealed persistent socioeconomic health disparities, emphasizing the need for comprehensive strategies targeting financial and non-financial barriers to enhance maternal and child health outcomes.


UNIGE – Harnessing Circadian Rhythms in Cancer Immunotherapy

Circadian rhythms, governing our sleep-wake cycles, extend their influence to immune system activity. Researchers, led by Dr Chen Wang and Dr Coline Barnoud from University of Geneva, explored this connection in cancer immunosurveillance. Engrafting tumours into mice at different times revealed faster growth during the active phase. Across cancer types, resting phase exhibited heightened defence cells and CD80 molecule control, enhancing antitumor response. Chrono-immunotherapy experiments demonstrated a 50% reduction in tumour size with resting phase vaccination in mice. Human trials echoed efficiency, emphasizing the circadian influence on immune responses and urging consideration of treatment timing for enhanced clinical outcomes.


About The Pfizer Prize for Research

The Pfizer Prize for Research has been awarded annually since 1992. It has already rewarded 438 researchers. The foundation has donated a total of more than CHF6.8 million ($7.8 million) to medical research. Next call for projects is open until 15 April 2024.



➡️ All the awardees
➡️ Next call for application: from April 2024