Public Health United for Swiss Cohort & Biobank

Public Health United Steering Committee for Swiss Cohort & Biobank established

The development of a population-based Swiss cohort and biobank (SCB) enters a crucial phase in the coming months and years. A population-based cohort with at least 100,000 participants of all ages will form the backbone of public health science to guide population health and Swiss health policy in an evidence-based manner and to address key emerging health issues. The Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) and The Swiss Society for Public Health Switzerland (PHS) have elected a steering group (Steering Committee Public Health United for Swiss Cohort & Biobank - PHU4SCB) led by Prof. Nicole Probst-Hensch (Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) and University of Basel). The steering committee will be the central coordination body for all questions regarding the further strategy and development of this essential research infrastructure.

Switzerland is one of the few research nations that does not have a large cohort. However, the management of the pandemic has shown that established cohorts are invaluable for scientifically sound decisions. Moreover, long-term biobank studies are also essential for human biomonitoring and for researching and monitoring potential chronic environmental and chemical risks. Furthermore, they form a crucial pillar for evaluating the utility of new biomarkers and personalized medicine in general. The importance and need for a cohort with participants of all ages is widely recognized. This is evident from the recommendation of the Federal Council to clarify the structure, financing and organization of a national cohort of at least 100,000 people. The inclusion of children in the cohort is backed by a postulate from Benjamin Roduit on the basis that long-term data on the health of children and adolescents are largely lacking. In addition, 'swissuniversities' recommends the cohort and biobank project IOP4CH in the roadmap for research infrastructures as one of the projects to be funded for cost-intensive research infrastructures of universities.

PHU4SCB Steering Comittee

Nicole Probst-Hensch, Chair (Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), University of Basel)

Murielle Bochud (Unisanté, University of Lausanne)

Luca Crivelli (University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) - and representation of SSPH+ Directorate)

Milo Puhan (Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI), University of Zurich)

Corina Wirth (Public Health Schweiz)