Hirt Bernhard, Professor Emeritus


Bernhard Hirt received a PhD in Physics at the University of Bern in 1960. He pursued postdoctoral training at the universities of Bern, Pisa (Italy), and at the California Institute of Technology (USA, 1960-1963). He subsequently joined the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research’s Virology department (ISREC, Lausanne, 1964). He became Head of the Virology Department of ISREC in 1971, after earning a Certificate in Molecular Biology from the University of Geneva under Prof. W. Arber and worked as a staff researcher at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York under Prof. J. D. Watson. Oncogenic DNA viruses were the subject of his research. In 1978, he was appointed Director of ISREC, a position he held until 1996. He helped numerous young scientists advance their careers throughout the course of these 18 years.

Bernhard Hirt taught Molecular Biology to students in Biochemistry as part of his simultaneous post as Professor of Biophysics at the University of Lausanne (1971-2000). He was invited to join numerous international scientific boards and councils throughout his career, including the EMBO Council in Heidelberg, Germany, the Institut Gustave Roussy de Recherche sur le Cancer in Villejuif, France, the Biozentrum at the University of Basel, the Friederich Miescher Institute in Basel, and the Krebsforschung Zentrum (Heidelberg). He received the Dr. Honoris Causa title from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Lausanne, in 1996.

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