Our history

Founded on June 18, 1964,
the ISREC Foundation is a private non-profit foundation.

The ISREC Foundation was founded on June 18, 1964 thanks to the determination of its president, Mr. Rodolphe Stadler, and of its director and co-founder, Prof. Henri Isliker. Its first activity was the establishment of the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC), run by Prof. Isliker.  

Over the past fifty years, more than 150 personalities from Switzerland and abroad, including four Nobel Prize winners, have sat on the Foundation Council or the Scientific Board of the ISREC Foundation. The institute has participated in significant research projects and discoveries, notably in the areas of mutagenesis, genome instability and repair, immunology, the cell cycle, cell biology, tumor virology, oncogenes, cell differentiation and bioinformatics. The work accomplished by the scientists supported by the Foundation contributes to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying cancer and to identifying new therapeutic targets in diseases such as lymphomas, glioblastomas, leukemia, melanoma, sarcoma or lung cancer.

 

Since 2008, the ISREC consists of two distinct and independent entities:

 

The ISREC@EPFL - the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research, incorporated in the EPFL School of Life Sciences.

 

The ISREC Foundation, an accredited organization of public interest, supervised by the federal government.

 

Discover the milestones of its history

1924

Establishment of the "Centre Anticancéreux Romand (CACR)" in Lausanne, involved both in research and in treatment.

 

1957

The CACR dedicates itself exclusively to scientific research. Other closely associated aspects such as medical-social work or prevention are outsourced to the cantonal organizations.

 

June 18, 1964

Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Rodolphe Stadler (Chairman since 1951) and the remarkable solidarity of the German Swiss with their French Swiss compatriots, ISREC is officially established as a Swiss foundation in the "Rue du Bugnon" building.

 

1964

The institute has 48 employees. Its director and co-founder is Prof. Henri Isliker.

 

1972

The National Councilor Jean-Jacques Cevey is elected Chairman of the Foundation and works to consolidate the financial basis of the Institute and, with the help of the Confederation, the state of Vaud, the Swiss Cancer League and the "Romande" Lottery, to acquire a research building in Epalinges which meets the needs of the institute.

 

1973

Thanks to collaborations between the ISREC and the Institute of Biochemistry, the WHO and the Ludwig Cancer Research Institute, a critical mass of more than 150 scientists is reached. The space available in the laboratory building at the "Rue du Bugnon" rapidly becomes totally insufficient.

 

1976

Inauguration of the new building in the presence of the Federal Councilor H. Hürlimann.

 

1978

After 18 years devoted first to CACR and then to ISREC, the founding director of ISREC, Prof. Henri Isliker, resigns. The torch is taken up by Prof. Bernhard Hirt, who also directs the ISREC during 18 years.

 

1994

Professor Georges Muller is elected president.

 

1996

Prof. Michel Aguet is the new director. In addition to basic research, his policy is to promote collaborations with clinical and applied research groups.

 

2001

The ISREC is appointed “leading house” of the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) in the field of molecular oncology. This project also supports its partner institutions, the Ludwig Institute and the Institute of Biochemistry, and creates an opportunity to bridge the existing gap between fundamental and clinical research.

 

2005

Mr. Yves J. Paternot is elected president.   2008 Integration of the ISREC research groups into the EPFL – School of Life Sciences.

 

Today

The ISREC Foundation continues to search for and to provide resources to support projects having a broad diagnostic or therapeutic potential for innovations in cancer research. The main project is the backing of the construction of the AGORA-Cancer center which will bring together researchers and clinicians.

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ISREC Foundation
Rue du Bugnon 21
CH-1011 Lausanne / Suisse
CCP 10-3224-9
Tel. : +41 (0)21 653 07 16
Fax : +41 (0)21 652 69 33

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