Initiated in 2010, the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Chemical Biology aims to develop new tools and approaches derived from chemistry in order to understand, visualize and control biological processes. Over 100 researchers from four different academic disciplines (chemistry, biochemistry, physics and cell biology) collaborate to a better understanding of life at the molecular level. Together, they develop novel chemical tools and pursue innovative techniques based on small molecules and proteins to obtain new information about cellular processes and control them in situ. Their research allows Switzerland to become one of the leading scientific centers in the relatively new discipline of chemical biology and to train the future leaders in the field. The NCCR is also engaged in a platform for chemical screening (ACCESS) aimed at developing a new generation of molecules with biological effects.
Alongside its scientific goals, the NCCR Chemical Biology is also active in knowledge and technology transfer activities, education of the next generation of interdisciplinary scientists, while promoting gender equality and outreach activities to the wider society. Initiated at the University of Geneva (leading house), the NCCR Chemical Biology is partnered with EPF Lausanne (co-leading house) and the University of Fribourg and involves a wide range of academic and industrial collaborators. NCCRs are cross-disciplinary research networks funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). They support research in areas of strategic importance for the future of Swiss science, economy and society.